Treatment Strategies

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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:

  • Rest
  • Activity restrictions such as avoiding lifting or bending
  • Physiotherapy for range of motion and core strengthening
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Epidural injections
  • Bracing

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.

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