The Many Types of Spondylolisthesis and What You Should Know

If you can say spondylolisthesis, you’re already doing great! But even those that can say it may not know that there are many different types of spondylolisthesis that are classified in a variety of different ways. Here are some quick definitions that can help you in understanding more about this condition.

What Is Spondylolisthesis?

Although it’s got a large name, it’s a fairly simple definition. The easiest way to describe it is as a slipped vertebra. While that may not sound dangerous, it can actually cause the whole spine to be unstable, resulting in spinal cord compression and more. Since the range of slippage can be very wide, so can your range of symptoms. Thus, it’s important to understand what you’re looking for other than simple back pain.

Here are the different types of classifications of spondylolisthesis that you may experience:


If you have an underlying disease or spinal tumors, you can experience weakening of the areas that hold vertebrae together. Because of this, you may experience a sudden injury to the spine, or a slipped vertebra, which would be classified as pathologic spondylolisthesis.


mri of Spondylolisthesis

Car accidents, falls, or sports injuries can result in spinal fractures. Should you experience a slipped vertebra in this instance, it would be classified as traumatic spondylolisthesis.


If there is a defect present at birth that can weaken facet joints, you may often face higher risk of slipped vertebrae. Should this occur, you would be experiencing dysplastic, or congenital, spondylolisthesis.


If you experience a slipped vertebra due to a medical or surgical error, this would be classified as iatrogenic spondylolisthesis.


This is often seen as the most common form due to osteoarthritis and occurs when your facet joints degenerate from age. Muscular weakness may cause your vertebrae to slip, which is classified as degenerative spondylolisthesis.


This is a very particular type, happening when a stress fracture occurs in the narrow strip of bone that connects the vertebrae at the facet joints. Should a slipped vertebra happen here, it’s called isthmic spondylolisthesis.

If you are experiencing any pain that could be related to spondylolisthesis, contact Texas Spine Associates today to set up an appointment.

As always, if you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (972) 987-0969 or request an appointment online today!