A Vertebra That Has Moved Out of Place
Spondylolisthesis is when a vertebra (one of the 24 bones that make up your spinal column) moves out of place.
Many things can cause spondylolisthesis
- In children, the condition may be due to a birth defect or an injury. Young people who participate in sports that put stress on the lower back are especially at risk for spondylolisthesis.
- In adults, the condition most often occurs due to disk degeneration from aging.
- Spondylolisthesis can also be caused by spinal fractures, tumors and bone diseases.
Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook
For some people, spondylolisthesis has no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can range from mild to severe. Often, pain is felt in the lower back. This pain usually gets worse with activity and improves with rest.
Other symptoms may include:
- Pain in the buttocks and back of the thighs
- Tight hamstring muscles
- Stiff back
- Numbness, tingling or weakness in one or both legs
To diagnose spondylolisthesis, your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask you questions about your medical history and daily activities. An X-ray test will also be ordered to view the spine and confirm your diagnosis.
For many, spondylolisthesis improves with rest and physical therapy. If your case is severe or doesn’t get better with conservative treatment, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Experts in Care
Our team of skilled physicians works with you to determine your best course of treatment. They’re experienced in both adult and pediatric cases of spondylolisthesis.Find a Doctor Near You
Why Choose Penn State Health for Care
Comprehensive, Collaborative Care
Our doctors provide focused care for spondylolisthesis. They collaborate to deliver comprehensive, specialty treatment through Penn State Health Spine Center – a part of Penn State Bone and Joint Institute. These doctors are leaders in neurosurgery, orthopedics, pain management, radiology, physiatry, pediatric orthopedics and more. Their specialized training in the latest and most effective therapies and years of clinical experience translate to positive treatment outcomes.
Dedicated Back Pain Program
Developed by Penn State Health Spine Center, the Back Coach [Link to: https://yourcare.pennstatehealth.org/acton/media/34718/the-back-coach] is a dedicated program designed to provide you with the information, resources and support you need to understand and manage your back pain. Through this program, you can learn the causes of back and neck pain and the treatments available and send your questions to our spine care experts.
The Back Coach also includes an app for your mobile device that lets you track and manage your pain so you can really understand what’s causing it and what works to alleviate it – a key part to treating back pain.
Designated as a Blue Distinction® Center
When spondylolisthesis requires surgery, our fellowship-trained neurosurgeons and orthopedic spine surgeons provide the highest-level care. This is demonstrated by the Blue Distinction designation given to Penn State Health Spine Center by BlueCross BlueShield.
As a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, the center and its surgeons have been recognized for delivering expert spine surgery care. This respected designation is only given to health care facilities and providers that stand out for providing superior treatment.
Advancing Spine Care Through Research
Penn State Health includes Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the only academic medical center in central Pennsylvania. In partnership with colleagues at Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey Medical Center is a national leader in research and on the leading edge of new treatment options, including clinical trials.
If you or a loved one have spondylolisthesis, our support groups provide our patients and their caregivers an opportunity to connect with others in similar situations. Learn more about support groups offered at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
Our Convenient Locations
Find the care your family needs, close to home, at one of our many locations throughout central Pennsylvania.Find a Location Near You