4 Types of Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition where one vertebra slips forward over another vertebra, causing lower back pain and nerve compression. There are four main types of spondylolisthesis, each with its own unique causes and characteristics. In this article, we’ll explore the four types of spondylolisthesis and how they occur.

1. Degenerative Spondylolisthesis

Degenerative spondylolisthesis is the most common type of spondylolisthesis and occurs due to the natural aging process. It is characterized by the breakdown of the spinal discs and facet joints, causing the vertebra to slip forward. This type of spondylolisthesis is most common in individuals over the age of 50 and often occurs in the lower lumbar spine.

2. Isthmic Spondylolisthesis

Isthmic spondylolisthesis occurs when there is a defect in the pars interarticularis, a small bony structure that connects the facet joints. This defect can be caused by a stress fracture or repetitive stress on the spine. Isthmic spondylolisthesis is most common in children and adolescents who participate in sports that involve repetitive hyperextension of the spine, such as gymnastics or football.

3. Congenital Spondylolisthesis

Congenital spondylolisthesis occurs when there is a defect in the development of the spine before birth. This defect can cause the vertebra to slip forward and is often present at birth. Congenital spondylolisthesis is rare and may not cause symptoms until later in life.

4. Traumatic Spondylolisthesis

Traumatic spondylolisthesis occurs due to a sudden traumatic injury to the spine, such as a car accident or a fall. This type of spondylolisthesis is rare and is usually accompanied by other spinal injuries, such as fractures.

In conclusion, spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition that can cause lower back pain and nerve compression. From degenerative spondylolisthesis to traumatic spondylolisthesis, each type of spondylolisthesis has its own unique causes and characteristics. By understanding the different types of spondylolisthesis, individuals can work with their healthcare provider to choose the best treatment options for their specific condition.