Spondylolisthesis develops when tiny fractures weaken the vertebrae in your spine, and the bones become misaligned. If you're experiencing symptoms of spondylolisthesis, the experienced spine surgeons at Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) in Pomona and Arcadia, California, can help. They specialize in using minimally invasive computer-guided techniques to perform fusion surgery that relieves your pain and stabilizes your spine. To find out how you can benefit from the Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) team's exceptional skills, call the nearest office or request an appointment online today.
Spondylolisthesis is a lower back condition in which the vertebrae that form your spinal column slip out of alignment. It's often a problem for young athletes and adolescents who are having a growth spurt.
Before spondylolisthesis develops, you have a condition called spondylolysis, where tiny cracks or stress fractures occur in the vertebrae of your lower back. Without treatment, a small crack can significantly weaken the bone structure, leading to the vertebral misalignment seen in spondylolisthesis.
The severity of spondylolisthesis can vary according to the amount of slippage that occurs. A high-grade slip is one where more than 50% of the fractured vertebra's width slips forward onto the bone below. High-grade slips typically cause more severe pain and nerve damage.
Being physically active could increase your risk of spondylolisthesis, but there may also be genetic influences that mean you have an unusually thin bone structure.
At first, you might not realize you have spondylolisthesis, and some patients only find out when they undergo an X-ray for some other purpose. However, as spondylolisthesis progresses, you might experience lower back discomfort that worsens with activity and pain that spreads down the backs of your legs.
Other possible symptoms of spondylolisthesis include:
If you develop problems like these, the specialists at Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) offer effective solutions.
Many patients who have spondylolisthesis find that conservative treatments can be beneficial, for example, physical therapy, bracing, activity modification, and medication. Epidural steroid injections could also help by reducing inflammation in the affected area.
If these methods aren't relieving your symptoms, the Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) team can perform minimally invasive, computer-guided spinal fusion.
Spinal fusion for spondylolisthesis involves realigning the affected vertebrae and, if necessary, stabilizing your spine with metal rods and screws. Next, your surgeon links the vertebrae with a graft that acts as a bridge between the bones.
New bone growth eventually heals the grafted vertebrae into one solid piece and stops the damaged area from moving. Fusion does reduce flexibility in that part of your spine, but it’s also very effective in relieving the pain spondylolisthesis can cause.
To find out more about spinal fusion for treating spondylolisthesis, call Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) today or request an appointment online.