Spondylolisthesis Treated by an Orthopedic Spine Specialist in Houston, Cypress, Tomball & The Woodlands, TX
Spondylolisthesis occurs when a spinal bone (vertebra) slips slightly forward onto the vertebra immediately beneath it. Most often, this condition develops in the low back, which is continually exposed to directional pressures as the lumbar spine bends, rotates and supports the entire weight of the body during both physical activity and rest. Sometimes, excessive stress can force a vertebral body out of alignment.
What Are the Symptoms of Spondylolisthesis?
Spondylolisthesis does not always cause discomfort or require treatment. When symptoms develop, they can usually be traced to nerve compression, which can occur if an out-of-place vertebra presses on the spinal cord or a nearby nerve root. A compressed spinal nerve may generate pain that spreads across the low back—similar to a muscle strain—and may be accompanied by numbness and tingling sensations that travel down the length of one leg. Spondylolisthesis can also cause tightness and spasms in the hamstring muscles at the back of the thighs.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of spondylolisthesis, your best course of action is to consult with an experienced orthopedic spine specialist who can provide a proper diagnosis and suggest appropriate treatment. R. Alexander Mohr, MD, is a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who practices with Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Houston, Cypress, Tomball, and The Woodlands, Texas. Dr. Mohr can help you feel better and return to your active lifestyle as quickly as possible.
How Is Spondylolisthesis Treated?
Spondylolisthesis treatment can vary based on several individual factors, including the location and extent of the vertebral slippage, the severity of the resulting symptoms and the patient’s age, overall health, goals and preferences. After identifying a slipped vertebra, Dr. Mohr may suggest:
- A short break from sports and other activities that cause or worsen the pain
- A customized regimen of physical therapy focused on strengthening the core muscles that support the lumbar spine
- An over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen, to help reduce pain and inflammation
- A prescription-strength NSAID or pain reliever to alleviate symptoms that do not respond to over-the-counter remedies
- An epidural steroid injection to reduce severe inflammation and ease the associated discomfort
While surgical treatment for spondylolisthesis is often unnecessary, Dr. Mohr may suggest lumbar spine surgery to address a vertebra that repeatedly slips or causes severe pain that interferes with daily activities. For instance, one option may be a minimally invasive spinal fusion procedure to help stabilize the spine at the point where the vertebra has slipped out of place.
If you would like to meet with Dr. Mohr and explore your treatment options for spondylolisthesis, contact his office to request an appointment at one of his several convenient locations in Houston, Cypress, Tomball, or The Woodlands, TX. If you decide to proceed with surgery, Dr. Mohr will help you find the least invasive option that offers the most potential long-term benefits.