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Anterolisthesis causes, symptoms and treatment options described by Laser Spine Institute for neck and back pain sufferers in Scottsdale

Anterolisthesis is a specific form of spondylolisthesis (vertebral slippage), in which the affected vertebra slips forward on the vertebra below it. (If the vertebra slips backward, the spondylolisthesis is classified as “retrolisthesis”). This condition most commonly occurs in the lumbar (lower) portion of the spine. While vertebral slipping is typically caused by normal (yet frequent) wear to the spine, it can also be caused by genetics, age or a trauma to the spine.

Anterolisthesis is “graded” on a scale of 1 to 5. The higher the grade, the higher the severity of the slippage. Grade 1 involves less than 25 percent slippage, while grade 5 indicates that the vertebra has completely slipped out of place.

When anterolisthesis compresses local nerve roots, it can cause several uncomfortable symptoms

As the vertebra slips out of position, it can cause pain and stiffness in the surrounding area. Spondylolisthesis can also pinch the nerve roots that extend out from the spinal cord, which can trigger the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Radiating pain through the legs, feet and toes (radiculopathy)
  • Loss of bladder/bowel control

With lower-grade anterolisthesis , patients may not experience any symptoms at all, but even slight vertebral slippage can painfully interfere with nerve roots situated close by. Patients may find that treatment is necessary to help manage their pain and improve their mobility and quality of life.

Anterolisthesis treatments include rest, other conservative therapies and surgery

Conservative therapies are typically recommended for new or mild diagnoses. These treatments include rest, over-the-counter medications, nerve-block injections, back bracing, chiropractic care and physical therapy.
For higher-grade anterolisthesis, surgery may provide more meaningful pain relief. Some patients may be candidates for minimally invasive procedures, while other patients may be better served by a traditional open neck or back surgery.

If you’ve been diagnosed with anterolisthesis and have not achieved adequate symptom relief through conservative measures, Laser Spine Institute can help you explore minimally invasive surgery as a possible next step. For a review of your recent MRI or CT scan, contact us today.


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