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Spondylolisthesis in Portland, Oregon

Spondylolisthesis: Slipped Disc CorrecetionSpondylolisthesis is a Greek term meaning dislocated spine. It represents the slippage (usually forward, usually not dislocated) of one vertebral body on another. It is most commonly found at the fourth and fifth lumbar levels (L4-5) and is more common in women.

Causes of spondylolisthesis in Portland, Oregon

Spondylolisthesis can have multiple causes. The most common type of spondylolisthesis, degenerative, is likely caused by a combination of aging and wear weakening the disc. In addition, because of anatomic differences needed for child-bearing, the L4-5 disc of women has more force across it than discs at other levels and discs in men; therefore, spondylolisthesis is more common in women. Another type of spondylolisthesis, isthmic, results from a defect in the pars, a part of the arch of the spinal column. This defect typically occurs frequently without symptoms in teenagers from repetitive extension activities, such as football or gymnastics. Traumatic spondylolisthesis can occur as a result of fracture. Finally, congenital spondylolisthesis results from anatomical abnormalities present at birth.

Symptoms and diagnosis of spondylolisthesis

Most cases of spondylolisthesis produce no symptoms. However, spondylolisthesis can cause hip and leg pains due to spinal stenosis that results from the spondylolisthesis. Spondylolisthesis can also cause back pain due to slippage of bones. X-rays are the best way to diagnosis spondylolisthesis.

Treatment of spondylolisthesis in Portland, Oregon

Most patients with spondylolisthesis will find relief from non-surgical measures such as anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy, or epidural injections. Physical therapy exercises aim to strengthen abdominal and back muscles to decrease the motion of the spondylolisthesis. The exercises learned in physical therapy should be performed for at least six weeks to fully assess their effectiveness. Epidural injections of steroid around the spondylolisthesis will frequently decrease inflammation of the nerves and provide pain relief.

For patients who do not respond to conservative care, over 80% achieve relief of pain with surgical intervention. Generally, spinal fusion is combined with decompression, or lumbar laminectomy, to correct the spondylolisthesis and stenosis. Without fusion the spondylolisthesis is likely to progress over time and symptoms may recur.

Dr. Button is very experienced in treating spondylolisthesis. Please call 503-234-9861 to schedule a consult.

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