Spondylolisthesis occurs when a vertebra in the lumbar spine slips forward. It can occur because of a birth defect, trauma, or disease. An X-ray and a detailed CT scan will help your doctor diagnose spondylolisthesis.



  • Lower back pain
  • Tight or spasming hamstrings
  • Pain shooting down the leg
  • Weak or numb legs
  • Numb or tingling feet

Severe spondylolisthesis can affect a person’s posture and movement. When your spine slips forward, you might need to lean forward or walk with a waddle. If left untreated, it could cause serious nerve damage resulting in the loss of bladder or bowel control.


A birth defect could cause your spine to slip forword. Sometimes it’s caused by trauma, such as a fall or a car accident. It also can be a product of an overuse injury, which is caused by repetitive stress on the vertebral bone. Disease and tumors can also cause spondylolisthesis. In adults, arthritis and a loss of disc elasticity can lead to spondylolisthesis.


Treating spondylolisthesis depends how much your spine slips forward. Northshore surgeons, Dr. K. Samer Shamieh, Dr. Justin L. Owen and Dr. Jeremy James are conservative, minimally-invasive spine surgeons. At DISC of Louisiana we will work with you to treat a vertebral compression fracture non-surgically first. Rest, anti-inflammatory medications, back brace and physical therapy may provide relief. When conservative treatments fail, surgery is recommended.


DISC of Louisiana offers spinal procedures using minimally invasive techniques. It means smaller incisions, sometimes less than an inch, that is often covered with a band-aid. The minimally invasive spine surgeon inserts special surgical instruments through the tiny incisions to access the damaged disc. Unlike traditional “open” spine surgery, entry and repair to the damaged disc or vertebrae is achieved without harming nearby muscles and tissues. Less muscle and tissue damage results in less pain and a faster recovery. Click here to learn more.

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