Spondylolisthesis Treatment in Dallas
Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition that causes stiffness and pain in the lower back. It occurs when one of the vertebrae in the spine slips out of place onto the vertebra below.
While this vertebral displacement or slippage can occur anywhere in the spine, spondylolisthesis is most common in the lower lumbar spine, where the stress is most pronounced.
What Causes Spondylolisthesis?
Spondylolisthesis is generally caused by age-related conditions such as osteoarthritis, but it can also result from a bone abnormality, as well as an accident or injury. Sports like gymnastics, weightlifting, and football that exert enormous stress on bones may cause weakening of the vertebra, allowing them to shift out of place more easily.
Mild cases of spondylolisthesis may have no symptoms or produce minimal pain. However, when the displaced vertebra compresses nerves, there can be a wide range of symptoms.
The primary symptoms include:
- Low back pain that gets worse when standing or walking
- Sciatica pain that radiates through the buttock down the leg
- Tight hamstring muscles
- Muscle spasms in the backs of the thighs
- Muscle stiffness in the lower back
- Numbness or pins and needles sensation in the lower back and leg
- Difficulty standing or walking for extended periods
Types of Spondylolistheses
There are several underlying causes of Spondylolisthesis; most common are degenerative and Pars defects.
- Degenerative spondylolisthesis is attributed to the natural aging process, as the shock-absorbing discs begin to dry out, causing spinal instability and weakness. Degenerative spondylolisthesis is more prevalent in people over 50 and in women.
- Pars defects are usually due to a fracture or congenital defect. A pars interarticularis defect causes weakening of the disc over time and leads to vertebra shifting on top of the vertebra below.
Spondylolisthesis Surgery & Non-Surgical Treatments
Treatment options will depend on the severity of:
- Patient’s overall health
Rest from physical activities during treatment is imperative
Non-Surgical Treatments for Spondylolisthesis
- Bracing – A back brace stabilizes the spine and may aid the healing process.
- Physical Therapy
- Chiropractic Treatment
- Specific Exercises – In addition, specific exercises and stretching techniques can strengthen muscles in the abdomen and lower back.
- Medications – to relieve pain, inflammation, & muscle spasms
- Corticosteroid Injections – with X-ray guidance
- Facet Rhizotomy – to deaden nerve pain signals
Spinal Fusion Surgery
Individuals who do not respond to conservative therapy may need spine surgery to alleviate symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening. Spinal fusion surgery is remarkably effective as it relieves the compression of nerve roots and improves spinal stability. This procedure is generally reserved for those who found no pain relief after three months of conservative treatments.
Dr. Barnett’s technique for this procedure is one of the least invasive options performed in the DFW region. He uses one incision, which allows his patients to recover with the least amount of risk and post operative pain.
- First, one small incision, 1-2 inches in length, is made on the lower back.
- Next, a small portion of the back of the vertebra is removed to allow access for him to remove any structures impinging on the spinal nerves.
- A bone graft may be used to help fuse the two vertebrae.
- The spine is further stabilized to facilitate fusion and prevent further disc slippage.
- New bone tissue will develop over a period of months, permanently joining the two vertebrae.
Many individuals are candidates for minimally invasive surgical techniques for spondylolisthesis. Its potential advantages include:
- Less blood loss
- Smaller incisions
- Minimal discomfort
- Faster recovery
- Lower risk of complications
Consult A Spondylolisthesis Specialist
Symptoms of spondylolisthesis can worsen without intervention and should be evaluated promptly. Dr. David W. Barnett is a Dallas board-certified neurosurgeon who performs spinal fusion and decompression surgeries with a minimally invasive approach. To learn more about spondylolisthesis treatment in the Dallas – Fort Worth area, we invite you to schedule a private consultation.
What Our Patients Have to Say
From start to finish, Dr. Barnett and his staff were always informative and professional. Dr. Barnett performed my neck surgery and lower back surgery all during a pandemic and everything worked out perfect. Highly recommend Dr. Barnett. Top notch.
Contact us to schedule a consultation and let us help you start feeling better today.