If spondylolisthesis is suspected, x-rays would be ordered to assess the alignment of the spine and the position of the vertebrae. If spinal/vertebral issues are found, CT and MRI scans would then be ordered to obtain details about the severity of the condition and develop a course of treatment.
Conservative treatment options for spondylolisthesis include:
- Activity restrictions such as avoiding lifting or bending
- Physiotherapy for range of motion and core strengthening
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Epidural injections
Severe spondylolisthesis can be treated with a decompressive laminectomy. This is a surgical procedure where the section of the vertebra (typically the lamina) and tissue that are placing pressure on the nerves are removed. However, this makes the spine unstable so a spinal fusion would also be performed to hold the adjacent vertebrae in place and proper alignment.