What is it?

Spondylolisthesis is a condition that refers to the movement of vertebrae that causes instability in the spinal cord. It happens when the vertebra slips out of place, resting on the vertebra below it. It could put pressure on the nerve and cause pain. It could be congenital when the baby’s spine does not form in the way it should. Other causes may include young athletes who overextend the spine or older people with degenerative disease. Spondylolisthesis is divided into low and high-grade spondylolisthesis, the latter typically requiring surgical treatment.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms may include muscle spasms in the back and thigh muscles, back stiffness, difficulty walking or standing for long periods, pain while bending the back, numbness or weakness of the foot.


Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination. Further evaluation may include imaging tests of the spine.


Treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the symptoms and may include rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid injections, physical therapy, bracing or surgery.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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