Our spinal column is made of several vertebrae and the spinal cord passes through it. Spondylolisthesis is a disorder in which one of these vertebrae slips over another one, often compressing the spinal cord or some nerve roots, leading to pain. Usually spondylolisthesis occurs after a fracture and is a common cause of lower back pain in adolescent athletes. 

There are different types of spondylolisthesis, de​pending on what causes the disorder. These are:

  • Congenital spondylolisthesis: This type of spondylolisthesis is present at birth due to a birth defect of abnormal bone formation of the vertebrae.

  • Isthmic spondylolisthesis: This type of spondylolisthesis occurs because of small fractures in the bones of the vertebrae.

  • Degenerative spondylolisthesis: A common form of spondylolisthesis, this type occurs due to age-related degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae, with the discs losing their ability to resist movement by the vertebrae.

  • Traumatic spondylolisthesis: This is caused by a fracture in the spine due to a trauma or injury, such as a sports accident.

  • Spondylolisthesis due to a bone disease or infection: This occurs due to a disorder with the bones, such as osteoporosis, which weakens the spine.

  • Spondylolisthesis after spinal surgery: In some cases, spondylolisthesis may occur because of an incorrect surgical procedure.​


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The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the ​advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider. ​