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- Patient Comments: Spondylolisthesis - Causes
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- Spondylolisthesis facts
- What is spondylolisthesis?
- What causes spondylolisthesis?
- What are the risk factors for spondylolisthesis?
- What are spondylolisthesis symptoms?
- What types of doctors treat spondylolisthesis?
- How do doctors diagnose spondylolisthesis? How is the grading determined for spondylolisthesis?
- What is the treatment for spondylolisthesis? What type of surgery treats spondylolisthesis?
- What are the complications of spondylolisthesis?
- What is the prognosis for spondylolisthesis?
- Is it possible to prevent spondylolisthesis?
What causes spondylolisthesis?
There are five major types of lumbar spondylolisthesis.
- Dysplastic spondylolisthesis: Dysplastic spondylolisthesis is caused by a defect in the formation of part of the vertebra called the facet that allows it to slip forward. This is a condition that a patient is born with (congenital).
- Isthmic spondylolisthesis: In isthmic spondylolisthesis, there is a defect in a portion of the vertebra called the pars interarticularis. If there is a defect without a slip, the condition is called spondylolysis. Isthmic spondylolisthesis can be caused by repetitive trauma and is more common in athletes exposed to hyperextension motions, including gymnasts and football linemen.
- Degenerative spondylolisthesis: Degenerative spondylolisthesis occurs due to arthritic changes in the joints of the vertebrae due to cartilage degeneration and is acquired later in life. Degenerative spondylolisthesis is more common in older patients.
- Traumatic spondylolisthesis: Traumatic spondylolisthesis is due to direct trauma or injury to the vertebrae. This can be caused by a fracture of the pedicle, lamina, or facet joints that allows the front portion of the vertebra to slip forward with respect to the back portion of the vertebra.
- Pathologic spondylolisthesis: Pathologic spondylolisthesis is caused by a defect in the bone caused by abnormal bone, such as from a tumor.
What are the risk factors for spondylolisthesis?
Risk factors for spondylolisthesis include a family history of back problems. People who are born with a defect in the pars interarticularis bone in the spine (a condition called spondylolysis) are at increased risk of isthmic spondylolisthesis. Other risk factors include a history of repetitive trauma or hyperextension of the lower back or lumbar spine. Athletes such as gymnasts, weight lifters, and football linemen who have large forces applied to the spine during extension are at greater risk for developing isthmic spondylolisthesis.