The term Spondylolisthesis literally means spine slippage, where one of the 33 bones of the vertebra slips forward relative to its neighbour.

It usually occurs towards the base of the spine in the lumbar area and may exist at birth, develop during childhood or be acquired through stress to the spine, typically from carrying heavy weights.

Physical sport such as weightlifting, gymnastics, or football can typically cause wear and degeneration in the spine and males are more likely than females to develop symptoms from the disorder.

Spondylolisthesis is graded 1 to 5 according to degree of severity, with 5 meaning the vertebral body has completely fallen off the body beneath. 

Approximately 5-6% of adult males, and 2-3% of females have a spondylolisthesis condition and it becomes more common with the increased physical activities of adolescence and adulthood, along with the wear and tear of daily life.

Treatment for Spondylolisthesis is conservative in the first instance including:

  • Rest avoiding activities including bending or lifting
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Physiotherapy to encourage movement

Should your condition not improve in some circumstances surgery may be offered such as minimally invasive surgery, a Laminectomy or Spinal Fusion. Your spinal consultant surgeon can talk you through where surgery is an option for you and what option would be most suitable for your specific condition.