Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one of your vertebrae slips forward out of alignment with the one below it. This can cause pain and stiffness in your back, as well as difficulty moving. A spondylolisthesis diagnosis can vary in terms of grade and type. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between spondylolisthesis grades and the types of spondylolisthesis.
Before looking at the different types of spondylolisthesis, it is important to distinguish between spondylolisthesis grades and types. The grade system is used to describe the severity of the condition and is used to diagnose both types.
There are five grades of spondylolisthesis, depending on how severe the slippage is. These include:
1. Grade 1: 25% of the vertebral body has slipped
2. Grade 2: 50% of the vertebral body has slipped
3. Grade 3: 75% of the vertebral body has slipped
4. Grade 4: 100% of the vertebral body has slipped
5 Grade 5: vertebral body has completely fallen
Types of Spondylolisthesis
The type of spondylolisthesis, on the other hand, refers to how the condition developed. There are six types of spondylolisthesis. Congenital, isthmic, and degenerative spondylolisthesis are the most common types, while traumatic, pathological, and post-surgical spondylolisthesis are less common. Let’s take a closer look at each different type:
Congenital spondylolisthesis, also known as dysplastic spondylolisthesis, is present at birth and is often caused by a congenital defect in the bones of the spine. This can include things like a malformed vertebra or a problem with the joints between the vertebrae, known as the facet joints.
Isthmic spondylolisthesis is the most common type and primarily affects the L5-S1 level of the spine. This type is caused by a stress fracture in the bone that connects the upper and lower facet joints, typically as a result of repetitive trauma or overuse, such as from sports.
Degenerative spondylolisthesis occurs when degenerative changes weaken the spinal joints in the lumbar and cervical spine. This type is caused by the degeneration of the joints and discs in the spine, which can lead to instability and slippage.
Traumatic spondylolisthesis is a less common type. This type of spondylolisthesis is caused by a single traumatic event that exerts a large amount of force on the spine, such as a car accident or fall. Both the lumbar and cervical spine can be affected, depending on the type of trauma.
Pathological spondylolisthesis is another less common type of spondylolisthesis. This type is caused by a disease or condition that weakens the bones of the spine, such as cancer, tumors, or bone disease.
Post-surgical spondylolisthesis is the least common type. This type is caused by decompression surgery on the spine without proper stabilization. If too much bone is removed and is not properly stabilized, this can sometimes lead to instability and slippage. However, this can be avoided by properly stabilizing the spine during surgery.
In this blog, we have discussed the different types and grades of spondylolisthesis. We hope that this has helped you to better understand this condition. If you or someone you know is suffering from spondylolisthesis, be sure to contact a spine specialist to discuss treatment options.