What Is Spondylolisthesis And Do You Have It?

| Total Words: 368

The spine has many vertabrae and spondylolisthesis is a degeneration of a articulating (exterior) part of the vertabrae that reduces its integrity, strength, support and flexibility. The articulating part that is affected is in the rear of the vertabrae and tends to be located in L5 or L4 of the lumbar (lower back). It can range from a rating of 1-5, 5 being the most severe and 1 the least.

Spondylolisthesis affects athletes in sports that require a wide range of movement and flexability. Adolescents may have this condition and not exhibit any symptoms. Whether the condition is a rating of 1 or 5, the patient may exhibit extreme discomfort, lack of mobility, even loss of sensation in an extremity (usually the left leg).

In cases of high levels of discomfort spinal fusion is the best course of treatment. Usually the lower vertebrae is fused to the affected vertabrae (ie. L4 and L5 are the most common to be fused) and held in place with titanium screws and either rods or a plate. The surgery can take 4 hours and is a very painful experience. The spinal fusion can take 6-12 months for recovery. The pain associated with the 1st month of recovery is quite extreme and...

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