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UNDER THE KNIFE OF SPONDYLOLISTHESIS Imagine you are sitting in a doctors office waiting for a report on your condition Your symptoms are pain that spreads across your lower back that doesnt go away spasms that stiffen the back and tighten the hamstrings and numbness in the lower extremities Upon examination and after x-rays the doctor sits down in the room and tells you of a condition you have called spondylolisthesis Spondylolisthesis What is that Spondylolisthesis is the forward slippage of one vertebra on the vertebrae beneath it This forward slippage can be the result of many causes and is classified based on the reason for the slip American Academy for Orthopaedic Surgeons p 1 Most cases of the disease occur in the low lumbar spine with the most common spinal levels being either L5-S1 or L4-L5 Depending on the cause of the disease it can be classified as one of six different types The types are congenital isthmic degenerative traumatic pathological and post-surgical When faced with spondylolisthesis the question of how to deal with the condition arises The options to treat the condition are small in number One can either choose conservative treatment or a more radical decision of surgery Here our controversy arises to have surgery or to choose another route This is a much more difficult decision than it may seem due to the fact that most of the routes come to a dead end Conservative treatments only alleviate the symptoms they do not correct the slippage We should now go on to the different types of spondylolisthesis their symptoms and their treatments CONGENITAL This form of spondylolisthesis is caused by an abnormality of the bones of the spine An individual is born with an abnormality of the arch in back of the spine This abnormality most commonly occurs at the L5-S1 levels of the spine and usually includes the joints that connect one vertebra to another at
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