Dissecting Spondylolisthesis: What You Should Know

December 27, 2019
  • Author : Carolyn Mohsenzadeh

Spondylolisthesis is a spinal disorder of the lower vertebrae. It predominantly affects males, although females are also highly prone to this disease.

Here’s all you need to know about the spinal condition.

What Causes Spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis may be brought about through a number of factors depending on the individual’s age, genetics, as well as their lifestyle.

For example, some people have a birth defect of the vertebra. They’re likely to first experience this condition during their childhood. In other cases, a stress fracture can cause vertebral injury. Individuals who participate in sports such as football, weightlifting, and gymnastics are susceptible to this.

Apart from this, other typical causes of spondylolisthesis include:

  • Rapid growth in adolescence
  • Vertebral degeneration
  • Joint injury
  • Surgery
  • Tumors

What Do The Symptoms Look Like?

A person with spondylolisthesis may not exhibit any symptoms for years. Typically, these signs emerge as you grow older and vary in severity. The most common symptoms of spondylolisthesis include:

  • Pain in the lower back region
  • Pain in the legs triggered by muscle movement
  • Shooting pain that extends from the lower back to the buttocks and down the legs
  • Muscle stiffness and tightness
  • Trouble walking
  • Weakness or numbness in the legs
  • Pulled hamstrings
  • Lordosis(excessive inwardness of the spine)

How Does Spondylolisthesis Affect You?

Many individuals go through their entire life without ever knowing that they have this condition. The symptoms either don’t surface at all, or are too mild to be noticed. They may only find out about the disorder upon an unrelated doctor’s visit.

Other individuals aren’t so lucky. They may experience a number of the aforementioned symptoms throughout the course of their lives. These can worsen over time if left untreated, and can cause significant problems.

Kyphosis is one such potential health complication which causes increased spinal angulation. Patients with spondylolisthesis may also experience extreme weakness and may be at risk of leg paralysis. You may require surgery to treat the condition and help manage the pain.


Houston Neurosurgery & Spine is a neck and spine center Houston that helps patients with back and spine related issues. Our minimally invasive procedures and non-operative treatments can help treat spondylolisthesis.

Call us today at 832.522.8500 to schedule an appointment with our spine specialist Houston.