The spine is made of series of connected bones called as vertebrae. Spondylolisthesis is abnormal forward displacement of one vertebra over the other which occurs mainly in low back region.


Spondylolisthesis occuring in young age may be due to abnormal development ( Dysplastic spondylolisthesis) or due to fractute in the connecting bone( Lytic spondylolisthesis). In old age degeneration is the main cause of spondylolisthesis(Degenerative spondylolisthesis).

Patient usually presents with low back pain related to activities . It may be associated with leg pain if there is nerve compression.

Xray is the first line of investigation. MRI might be needed if the pain is persisting or if nerve compression is suspected.

Most of the patients settles down with physiotherapy- mainly back exercises , pain medications and activity modification. If the pain is severe and persisting surgical intervention may be indicated. Commonly done surgery is Lumbar decompression and pedicle screw fixation.

Case Example:

Spondylolisthesis is a condition where is slippage of one vertebra over the other leading to instability and back pain during bending movements of spine. 42yr old house wife who presented with chronic back pain and leg pain not relieving with physiotherapy was found to have L3-L4 spondylolisthesis. Stabilisation and fusion of L3-L4 segment relieved her symptoms.