Spondylolisthesis is a condition which is characterized by forward slipping of one of the thirty three vertebras in the spinal column. The condition normally affects the base of the spine (i.e. the lumbar region of the spine).
Spondylolisthesis is graded depending upon the severity of the condition. The condition is characterized into the following grades,
Grade-I: 25% forward slippage of the vertebra
Grade-II: 50% forward slippage of the vertebra
Grade-III: 75% forward slippage of the vertebra
Grade-IV: 100% forward slippage of the vertebra
Grade V: Vertebral body completely removed (this condition is also referred to as spondyloptosis)
Causes of Spondylolisthesis
The condition affects males more frequently compared to females.
Occasionally the condition may be observed in children, however it is fairly rare. However recent empirical evidence is suggestive of increase incidence of the condition among adolescents especially due to increased wear and tear of the vertebral bones.
The condition is characterized by low back pain, tenderness, weakness in the thighs or the legs, difficulty in controlling bowel and bladder functions and a protruding abdomen.
Treatment of Acquired Spondylolisthesis
The treatment regimen is as follows,
- Analgesics and non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs are prescribed to alleviate the pain and distress
- Chiropractic treatment regimen has been found beneficial.
- Exercise and physical therapy including deep tissue massage, hot and cold therapy and TENS have been found to be highly beneficial.
- Surgical intervention may be required in severe forms of the condition.
Also see on Accumulation of Fluids in Brain Cavities