Q:

What causes anterolisthesis?

A:

Quick Answer

Anterolisthesis is caused by fractures of the bones in the spine, says Cedars-Sinai. It can also be a birth defect or the result of a tumor or degeneration of the bone, claims MedicineNet.

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Full Answer

The slippage caused by anterolisthesis is graded from 1 to 4, with grade 1 being mild, and grade 4 indicating a complete slippage of the vertebral body, claims Cedars-Sinai. In grade 5, the vertebra has completely fallen off the next vertebra, says MedicineNet.

Treatment for mild cases of anterolisthesis include rest and avoidance of strenuous activities or sports, says MedicineNet. A physical therapist may also teach the patient exercises to increase the range of motion in his lower back, thigh muscles and core. The patient's doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory pain medicines or give him corticosteroid shots if he suffers from such symptoms as numbness and tingling. A patient whose slipped vertebrae are caused by a defect in the area of the bone called the pars interarticularis might wear a hyperextension brace.

Surgery is also an option if more conservative treatments don't work, claims MedicineNet. Patients with an abnormal pars interarticularis can have this part of the vertebra repaired. In this operation, the surgeon removes any scar tissue from the area and supports it with a bone graft. In decompression surgery, the surgeon removes bone that is irritating the nerve and causing pain or numbness. The two vertebrae may be fused together to stabilize that area of the spine.

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