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Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis are conditions affecting the facet joints that align the vertebrae one on top of the other. Spondylolysis is a weakness or stress fracture in the facet joint area. This weakness can cause the bones to slip forward out of normal position, called spondylolisthesis, and kink the spinal nerves. Treatment options include physical therapy to strengthen the muscles. A back brace may be used to support the spine. In some cases, surgery can realign and fuse the bones.
The degenerative slip usually manifests as difficulty in walking, which progressively increases with time. You may find that walking a certain distance brings about heaviness, tingling or pain in one/both buttocks/lower limbs. When you sit down, the symptoms get relieved, but are brought on by walking again. this type of pain is termed as "neurogenic claudication”.
An MRI is ordered to confirm the clinical findings and also to scan for any anomalies.
Usually lytic slips are treated with pain killers, activity modifications, wearing braces and ergonomic changes. If leg pain is the main issue, nerve root injections may be given for pain relief. if all non-operative measure fail, surgery in the form of spinalfusion may be recommended. In cases of degenerative slips, limited rest, pain-killers and exercise usually help. but in cases where this does not work, surgery is offered the surgery entails decompressing the nerves with/without spinal fusion.