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Spondylolisthesis is a medical condition in which a vertebra is dislocated from its proper place as it slips forward, backward, or onto the vertebra below it. Spondylolisthesis or ‘slipping of the vertebra’ commonly occurs because of spondylolysis, a defect or fracture of one or both wing-shaped parts of a vertebra.  

Stages of Spondylolisthesis
The stages of Spondylolisthesis are determined by the degree of slippage. Slippage is graded I through IV:

  • Grade I: 1% to 25% slip.
  • Grade II: 26% to 50% slip.
  • Grade III: 51% to 75% slip.
  • Grade IV: 76% to 100% slip.

Commonly, slippage of grade I and II does not require a surgical intervention. However, grade III and IV may require surgical procedures if the symptoms are not alleviated by therapeutic methods like physical therapy.

Symptoms of Spondylolisthesis
Most patients do not have any symptoms of Spondylolisthesis. Symptoms commonly manifest in later Spondylolisthesis stages, which predominantly include lower back pain and muscle spasms in the hamstring muscle.

In case the slipped vertebra is compressing spinal nerves, a person may feel neck pain and radiating pain in the leg and foot.

In some cases, degenerative Spondylolisthesis may cause sacroiliac joint dysfunction. In this spinal condition, the sacroiliac SI joint is affected, which causes pain in the lower back.

Treatment of Spondylolisthesis
The first line of treatment for Spondylolisthesis is therapeutic treatments and exercises. Common nonsurgical treatments include:

  • Physical therapy.
  • Back braces.
  • OTC drugs like anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Epidural steroid injections.


If these methods remain ineffective, then spine specialists recommend spine fusion surgery to stabilize the slipped vertebra. A Spine fusion surgery is a minimally invasive spine surgery performed by a board-certified spine surgeon. The surgeon stabilizes the spine with a bone graft implant.

Need help finding a doctor who gives you the best neuro spine care in New Jersey? Call us now and schedule your appointment today.


How Do You Get Spondylolisthesis?

  • Spondylolisthesis can occur as a result of birth defects.
  • It may also be caused due to a traumatic injury or overstress.

Can You Become Paralyzed From Spondylolisthesis?

  • Medical treatment is a must to escape the symptoms of Spondylolisthesis.
  • If you do not treat it timely, you may get caught by acute or chronic pain that may ultimately increase the chances of paralysis.
  • Severe damage of nerves due to Spondylolisthesis can make you paralyzed.

Is Walking Bad for Spondylolisthesis?

  • Normally Spondylolisthesis may display symptoms of pain in legs, specifically in case of walking or standing for a longer duration.
  • But in case if you have been diagnosed with it, then you may consult a specialist.

What Is the Best Pain Relief for Spondylolisthesis?

You can adopt different measures to get rid of pain symptoms associated with Spondylolisthesis:

  • Certain pain medications can be really helpful in relieving pain symptoms.
  • Applying ice treatment can also prove to be really beneficial in treating Spondylolisthesis.
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