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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a condition that happens when a bone in your spine moves out of place. The bones often move slowly over time, but they may move suddenly. Spondylolisthesis can occur anywhere in the spine, but it most commonly occurs in the lower back.

What causes spondylolisthesis?

Your risk for spondylolisthesis increases as you age. The joints and ligaments that hold your spine together become weak. This increases the risk that the bones in your spine will move out of place. The following are other causes of spondylolisthesis:

What are the signs and symptoms of spondylolisthesis?

Your symptoms may be mild to severe. You may have any of the following:

How is spondylolisthesis diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine you and ask about your symptoms. Your provider may move your legs and ask if you have pain. You may need an x-ray, CT scan, or MRI of your spine. These tests can check for a broken bone or bone that has moved out of place. You may be given contrast liquid to help the spine show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.

How is spondylolisthesis treated?

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

What can I do to manage my symptoms?

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Treatment options

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.