Slippage of one vertebrae over other

Know about Spondylolisthesis.: A crack or stress fracture in one of the vertebrae, the small bones that make up the spinal column. The injury most often occurs in children and adolescents who participate in sports that involve repeated stress on the lower back. Sports such as gymnastics, football, and weight lifting. The most common age group affected is elderly due to degenerative process which is more accelerated with ageing. Other common types are Congenital & Isthmic which are common in children and young respectively.

People at risk

Usually the elderly due very long term abnormal posture. And weakness of surrounding supporting structures due to ageing and wear and tear processes.

Young people who lift quite heavy weights are at increased risk. Incidence is increasing in young especially due to unguided weight lifting and exercises in gyms.



  • Low back pain and tenderness.
  • Buttock pain.
  • Thigh and leg pain and/or weakness. (one or both)
  • Difficulty controlling bowel and bladder functions usually late in the disease.
  • Tight hamstring muscles
  • Walking resembles waddling movements duck like walk.
  • Swayback.

Diagnosis & Treatment

If a patient exhibits symptoms as listed above then MRI is usually the first investigations ordered these days. X Ray and CT scans of the lower spine are the best method for diagnosing spondylolisthesis. But none the less MRI is ordered to rule out other things.

Once diagnosed, treatment depends on, the grade of listhesis, symptomatology of the patient and mobility of the vertebral bones over each other. After proper evaluation and combining above the treatment plan is decided by the doctor.