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Good news: Modern day spine surgery carries less than 1% chance of developing weakness
in the legs, Equivalent to anybody having a major road accident
In Spondylolisthesis, one of the vertebrae in our spine slips forward and out of place. This may occur anywhere along the spine, but is most common in the lower back (lumbar spine). Patients will have back and leg pain that ranges from mild to severe.
Many types of spondylolisthesis can affect adults. The 2 most common types are degenerative and lytic.
As we age, general wear and tear causes changes in the spine. Intervertebral discs begin to dry out and weaken. They lose height, become stiff, and begin to bulge. This disc degeneration is the start to both arthritis and degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS).
This slippage can narrow the spinal canal and put pressure on the spinal cord. This narrowing of the spinal canal is called spinal stenosis and is a common problem in these patients.
Women are more likely than men to have DS, and it is more common in patients who are older than 50.
One of the bones in your lower back can break and this can cause a vertebra to slip forward. The break most often occurs in the area of your lumbar spine called the pars interarticularis. Pars fracture may occur in adolescence and remain unnoticed till adulthood. Disc degeneration in adulthood can stress the pars fracture and cause the vertebra to slip forward. This type of spondylolisthesis is most often seen in middle-aged men.