Adult Lumbar Spondylolisthesis

Whether it’s the result of overuse, an injury, a congenital defect or the natural aging process, spondylolisthesis is a condition marked by the slipping of vertebrae in the spine. While spondylolisthesis can occur at any level of the spinal column, it’s most common in the lower lumbar region.

At New Jersey Neck & Back Institute (NJNBI), we provide treatment to patients suffering from lumbar spondylolisthesis. If you’ve already visited a physical therapist or chiropractor but aren’t receiving the relief you need, make an appointment at NJNBI. We take a multidisciplinary approach to treating lumbar spondylolisthesis.

What Causes Lumber Spondylolisthesis?

There are two common types of spondylolisthesis that affect adults: degenerative and spondylolytic. And each one stems from a different cause.  

Degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS) is often the result of natural aging. Over time, the intervertebral discs in the spine begin to dry out and weaken as arthritis develops, leading to disc degeneration, and potentially, disc herniation. If the vertebrae are allowed to slip forward, the spinal canal may narrow, putting pressure on the spinal cord. This condition is known as spinal stenosis.

Spondylolytic spondylolisthesis, on the contrary, is most commonly found in middle-aged men. Oftentimes, this type of spondylolisthesis begins in adolescence. While it can be caused by any broken bone in the lower back, the majority of cases are found to be the result of a fracture in the pars interarticularis region. The fracture, having happened earlier in life, goes unnoticed until the natural disc denegation occurs in adulthood, stressing the pars fracture and causing the vertebra to slip forward.

X-ray Image of Adult Lumbar SpondylolisthesisLumbar Spondylolisthesis Symptoms

Patients with a lumbar spondylolisthes may have back pain associated with abnormal motion and arthritis of the affected segment.  The spinal stenosis may cause leg pain, numbness, tingling or even weakness in the legs.  The leg symptoms are aggravated with standing and walking and relieved by sitting.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Lumbar Spondylolisthesis

Approximately 4 to 6 percent of the U.S. population has spondylolisthesis. However, many live with it for years without knowing it. If you’re experiencing symptoms of adult lumbar spondylolisthesis, Dr. LaRocca will examine your medical history and perform a thorough physical examination.  He will also review any diagnostic imaging available.   Additional imaging may be necessary and may include:

  • X-rays
  • Computed tomography (CT) scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Once the diagnosis is made, Dr. LaRocca will discuss your case and, though an informed mutual decision-making process, treatment recommendations will be made. Recommendations may include:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory and analgesic medications
  • Spinal injections
  • Laminectomy
  • Spinal fusion

Schedule an Appointment

Get relief from lumbar spondylolisthesis – call us today at 609-896-0020 to schedule an appointment at our Lawrenceville, Toms River or Mount Laurel, NJ office.