Whilst most people are aware of the term slipped disc, there is also a less common condition where one vertebral body can slip forwards on another – spondylolisthesis. Spondylolisthesis is most commonly caused by either degenerative wear-and-tear changes or stress fractures called pars fractures.

What symptoms can spondylolisthesis cause?

Spondylolisthesis can be asymptomatic or may present with back pain and/or leg pain due to spinal stenosis or nerve compression. 

How is spondylolisthesis treated?

Your symptoms may be brought under control with a conservative approach using a multi-disciplinary team including physical therapy, steroid injections from a pain anaesthetist and targeted pain medication. 

In cases where conservative therapy fails to control symptoms adequately then surgery may be recommended. Usually this would involve decompression and instrumented fusion with titanium pedicle screws and interbody cages (see “Spine operations”).