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What Is Spondylolisthesis Surgery ?

Spondylolisthesis surgery is a drastic and invasive option for advanced vertebral slippage conditions. Spondylolisthesis is a condition with multiple possible causes, but similar symptomatic profiles. While most varieties of the condition are not problematic, some can cause moderate pain and related symptoms and others can create truly nightmarish cases of suffering and even spinal instability. It is in these cases that back surgery is usually prescribed as the best or only treatment modality available.

Spondylolisthesis Surgery Procedure

Surgical correction of severely slipped vertebrae is a last resort treatment option. The operations are very invasive and can create many associated health problems. The most common procedure used is one of the many varieties of spinal fusion. Fusion is an operation where the vertebrae are joined together using bone grafts and surgical hardware such as cages, screws, pins and plates. In severe cases of spondylolisthesis, this hardware is often left attached to the operated vertebrae permanently, as a means of reinforcing the fusion procedure. Fusion is a traumatic operation to endure and can cause degenerative conditions to develop in other surrounding vertebral levels.

Spinal fusion should only be considered if there are truly severe symptoms and no other conservative back pain treatment options available. If a fusion procedure is warranted, make sure to find a specialist who can insure the best results possible for your particular condition.

Signs And Symptoms

Back pain is the most common complaint in people who have spondylolisthesis. The pain tends to correlate with the level of physical activity, with worsening pain with activity and improvement with rest. Most people find that the back pain is worse with standing and walking, and often better with sitting.

Another common complaint is ache in the buttock region. This can be pain referred from the degenerative joints in the low back, or could be a symptom of nerve root compression. Buttock pain can accompany back pain or occur by itself.

Leg pain that descends through the buttock, back of the thigh, past the knee, and into the calf or foot is a common sign of nerve root compression. When a spinal nerve is pinched or irritated, burning, numbness, and tingling can also be present. Muscle weakness can also result.

The type of discomfort people have varies from person to person. In early stages, patients with spondylolisthesis may not have any pain. Pain may slowly increase to become intermittent, or even constant. Patients may also live their entire lives with this condition and not ever have any significant pain.

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