Medifocus Guidebook on Spondylolisthesis

A Comprehensive Patient Guide to Symptoms, Treatment, Research, and Support

Updated: January 26, 2023
146 Pages


What is Spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition that involves the slipping of one spinal vertebra over the one immediately underneath it. In order to understand this condition, and a related condition called spondylolysis, which is a precursor for some types of spondylolisthesis, it is important to review the components of the spine and how they function.

The spine is made up of a series of interconnecting bones called vertebrae (an individual unit is called a vertebra). The vertebral column (spine) is the main support structure for the body and keeps it upright and balanced. Other functions of the spine include:

  • Providing platforms for attachments of many muscles and ligaments that traverse the skull, the thorax, and the pelvis.
  • Permitting the trunk of the body to have appreciable flexibility of movement, such as twisting, bending, or arching the back.
  • Protecting the spinal cord while providing openings between adjacent vertebrae for the passage of spinal nerves.

The spinal column consists of 33 bones and is divided into:

  • 7 cervical vertebrae which form the upper part of the spine between the skull and the chest.
  • 12 thoracic vertebrae which are found between the upper chest and lower back.
  • 5 lumbar vertebrae which form the lower back and are the largest and strongest of the vertebrae. They are the source of attachment of many strong back muscles.
  • 5 vertebrae fused together form the sacrum, which is triangular in shape and connects the spine to the pelvis. The sacrum also provides support for the spine.
  • 4 fused vertebrae form the coccyx ("tail bone") which has little known function.

Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slips over the vertebra just below it. Though it can occur at the level of cervical vertebrae, it occurs most often at the level of the lumbar vertebrae. Its symptoms can range from asymptomatic (no symptoms) to severe. The slippage may result in lordosis (swayback) for some people and in kyphosis (roundback) where the upper spine falls over the lower spine in others (this is a late manifestation of high-grade slippage). Most cases of spondylolisthesis are not severe and do not involve high levels of slippage. Spondylolisthesis can be caused by various conditions but the symptoms are basically similar and include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Stiffness in the back
  • Localized pain or tenderness in the back just above the pelvis
  • Tight hamstrings
  • Pain in the thighs and legs (radiculopathy)
  • Pain in the buttocks

Knowledge is Critical when Dealing with a Painful and often Debilitating Condition such as Spondylolisthesis

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis, it's critical to learn everything you possibly can about this condition so that you can make informed decisions about your treatment. That's why we created the Medifocus Guidebook on Spondylolisthesis, a comprehensive 146 page patient Guidebook that contains vital information about spondylolisthesis that you won't find anywhere in a single source.

The Medifocus Guidebook on Spondylolisthesis starts out with a detailed overview of the condition and quickly imparts fundamentally important information about spondylolisthesis, including:

  • The underlying causes of spondylolisthesis.
  • The **risk factors that can increase a person's chances for developing spondylolisthesis
  • A detailed overview of the different types of spondylolisthesis that are recognized and, which, serve as a basis for classifying patients into the following groups:

    • Isthimic spondylolisthesis
    • Dysplastic (congenital) spondylolisthesis
    • Degenerative spondylolisthesis
    • Traumatic spondylolisthesis
    • Pathologic spondylolisthesis
    • Postoperative (iatrogenic) spondylolisthesis
  • The relationship between a condition known as spondylolysis and the development of isthmic spondylolisthesis - the most common type of spondylolisthesis observed.

  • A description of the Meyerding grading system that is used by doctors to determine the degree (severity) of slippage in people with spondylolisthesis. Using this grading system, patients may be classified into either low-grade or high-grade slippage groups, which serves as an important basis for planning an appropriate course of treatment.
  • How spondylolisthesis is diagnosed based on factors such as signs/symptoms, patient history, physical examination, neurological evaluation, and radiological (imaging) studies.

Understanding the Standard Treatments...and the Treatment Options

The primary goals of treatment for individuals with spondylolisthesis include:

  • Relieving back pain and radiculopathy (pain radiating to the legs)
  • Restoring spinal flexibility and improving range of motion
  • Stopping the progression of slippage

Understanding the standard treatments - and the treatment options - is critical for achieving the goals of treatment and, thereby, maintaining the patient's overall functional capacity and quality of life. As you read through the section of the Guidebook that focuses on the treatments for spondylolisthesis, you will specifically learn about:

  • The conservative treatments that are often the first-line approach for the management of people with spondylolisthesis, which include:

    • Lifestyle modifications
    • Physical therapy
    • Orthotic devices, such as corsets and braces
  • The medications that are often prescribed to alleviate back pain in patients with spondylolisthesis.

  • The surgical treatment options that are available for patients who have failed to achieve adequate relief with conservative treatments and who continue to experience unremitting pain that leads to a significantly reduced quality of life. These surgical treatment options, which are reviewed in detail in the Guidebook, include:

    • Direct repair of the pars interarticularis
    • Posterior fusion without instrumentation
    • Posterolateral fusion with instrumentation
    • Interbody fusion
    • Laminectomy
  • The risks, benefits, and complications that are associated with the various surgical techniques for spondylolisthesis.

  • The prognosis (outlook) for people with spondylolisthesis including the important factors that can have a significant impact in predicting the overall chances of recovery.
  • The impact of spondylolisthesis on the patient's quality of life, including practical tips and suggestions for how to minimize the impact on your lifestyle and better cope with the condition.
  • Important questions to ask your doctor about spondylolisthesis.

A "One-of-a-Kind" Reference Guidebook on Spondylolisthesis that Goes Way Beyond the Fundamentals

Since 1996, when Medifocus was founded, we've learned that many people with Spondylolisthesis are seeking more specific information that goes beyond the fundamentals, such as the causes, diagnosis, standard treatments, and treatment options. That's why we developed a "one-of-a-kind" reference Guidebook that goes way beyond the basics and also includes the following sections:

  • A Guide to Recent Medical Literature on Spondylolisthesis - This section of the Guidebook contains an extensive bibliography of over 100 references to recently published articles about Spondylolisthesis in authoritative, peer-reviewed medical journals with links to the absracts (summaries) of the articles. These articles represent the latest advances in the field and focus on cutting-edge research, new developments, and the lessons learned from recently published studies involving patients with Spondylolisthesis. This is the same level of that is used by doctors who treat people with Spondylolisthesis to keep abreast of the latest developments and breakthroughs in this specialized field of medicine.

  • Centers of Research for Spondylolisthesis - We've compiled a unique directory of doctors, hospitals, medical centers, and research institutions with special interest and, in many cases, clinical expertise in managing people with Spondylolisthesis. The "Centers of Research" directory is a valuable resource for quickly identifying and locating leading medical authorities and medical institutions both within the United States and other countries who are considered to be at the forefront in clinical research and treatment of Spondylolisthesis. You'd have to spend days - or even weeks - attempting to compile your own list of doctors and medical centers but, with the "Centers of Research" directory, the information is already right at your fingertips. All you have to do is act on the information by selecting and contacting the experts or medical institutions listed in the directory by state and country.

  • Organizations and Support Groups for Spondylolisthesis - The Guidebook also includes a directory of organizations and support groups whose goal is to help people with Spondylolisthesis by providing access to information, resources, and services. Many of these organizations can answer your specific questions, enable you to "network" with other patients, and provide guidance in areas such as financial, social, or medical-legal issues. This valuable directory of organizations and support groups includes complete contact information, including phone numbers and E-mail addresses.

Look Inside the Guidebook

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  • Free Updates for One Year - Along with your initial purchase of the Guidebook, you also receive free updates for one-full year.

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  • Risk-Free Satisfaction Guarantee - Your purchase comes with our RISK-FREE satisfaction guarantee. If, for whatever reason, you are not totally satisfied with the content of your Guidebook, simply contact us within 30-days of your purchase for a prompt, full refund. We are so confident that you will be satisfied with your Guidebook that we offer this RISK-FREE satisfaction guarantee unconditionally - no questions and no hassles.

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The Medifocus Guidebook on Spondylolisthesis (146 pages; last updated January 26, 2023) is available in the following two convenient formats:

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Medifocus Guidebook on Spondylolisthesis

Updated: January 26, 2023
146 Pages

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What Our Customers Are Saying...

"The MediFocus Guidebook on Spondylolisthesis provided me with the information I needed to make an informed decision regarding my treatment. The Guidebook clearly explained the various grades of spondylolisthesis and what patients can expect at each stage. The various treatment options are also clearly explained so that you walk away with a much more realistic expectation about what to expect after treatment."
Shereveport, Louisiana

"The MediFocus Guidebook on Spondylolisthesis enabled me to have a more meaningful and serious discussion with my Orthopedic Surgeon about the various treatment options that are available to me. Your very comprehensive and informative Guidebook not only helped me prepare the right questions to ask my surgeon but also helped me better understand the answers he provided."
Plano, Texas

"Your MediFocus Guidebook on Spondylolisthesis helped me to prepare important questions to ask my doctors about the risks and complications associated with the proposed surgical solution to my low back problem. Thank you."
Malvern, Pennsylvania

Medifocus Guidebook on Spondylolisthesis

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