Spondylolisthesis - Slipped Vertebrae
Spondylolisthesis occurs when a vertebra shifts out of position in the spinal column. Vertebrae are the series of bones that make up your back. Fractures or degenerated bones can cause a vertebra to move. Spondylolisthesis may not cause symptoms, or it may cause back pain and stiffness, and leg pain.
The back part of each vertebra arches to form the lamina. The lamina creates a roof-like cover over the back opening in each vertebra. The opening in the center of each vertebra forms the spinal canal. Your spinal cord and spinal nerves travel through the protective spinal canal.
If your vertebra has slipped significantly, you may experience compressed nerves or a narrowing of your spinal canal. If the spinal nerves on the lower end of the lumbar spine are compressed leg pain and neurologic symptoms can result. Other symptoms include low back pain, leg pain, leg weakness, lower body sensory deficits, and reduced or absent leg reflexes.
Physical and occupational therapy usually follows spinal fusion and lumbar laminectomy surgeries. Initially, your physical therapist will help you with bed mobility and sitting balance. Your physical therapist will also focus exercises to promote walking. You may need to wear a back support or use an assistive device, such as a walker, until you are stronger. Your physical therapy will progress to strengthening exercises to increase your back and abdominal muscles strength and endurance.
Your occupational therapist will teach you ways to perform simple daily tasks, such as dressing, bathing, and toileting, within the movement parameters that you have. Your therapists can recommend and issue durable medical equipment, including shower chairs or dressing devices, to allow you to perform self-care tasks as independently as possible.
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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.