What is Anterolisthesis?

Anterolisthesis, also known as spondylolisthesis is a typical problem that happens in the spine because of an irregular arrangement of bones. This mostly happens when there is a slipping of one vertebra below the other.
The consequences post this misplacement of vertebras is often painful and twinges. The after effects also run in the other parts of the body including the arms and legs. The treatment can sometimes lead to surgery if the slippage caused is very severe.

Anterolisthesis Symptoms

● Most of the times anterolisthesis starts with continuous pain. The pain spreads to the lower back and the legs.
● The pain can also result in weight gain and the other as might experience flexibility issues.
● Some of the other symptoms are a weak body and posture, lack of ability to feel sensations, muscle spasms.
● In severe cases, it can lead to loss of bladder and it is often difficult to walk or pose a body movement.

Anterolisthesis Causes

Sudden blunts or fractures are the basic reason for anterolisthesis There can be plenty of reason for the same like some trauma caused due to an accident. Sometimes anterolisthesis can be caused over a period of time as by bodybuilding.
Sometimes it might happen that the vertebra lying midst the cartilages grow thin and turn weak, this comes with aging and this is again one of the motives of anterolisthesis.
Tumors are many times encountered to be the reason for the misplaced vertebra from its position.

Most of the times, the disease doesn’t carry a hookup but there might be backward displacement also called anterolisthesis.

Anterolisthesis Complications

The major complications of anterolisthesis include pain in the legs along with numbness. The compression of nerves results in bladder bleeding and bowel controls.

Anterolisthesis Diagnosis

A physical examination is required for the diagnosis of anterolisthesis followed by a reflex check.
Either an X-ray or a CT-scan is the most powerful weapon for the detection of anterolisthesis. The images give a clear picture of the broken nerves and injuries.

Anterolisthesis Grades (1-4)

Diagnosis is followed up by finding out the amount of damage. A grading scale determines the same and gives the desired level of the state.
● Slippage less than 25% in Grade 1
● Slippage between 26% to 50% in Grade 2
● Slippage between 51% to 75% in Grade 3
● Slippage more than 76% of Grade 4

Anterolisthesis Prognosis

The slipping of vertebra caused lasts for a span of good two or three weeks and it varies from patient to patient. Pain, imbalance, bleedings are complications related. The patient is most of the recovered in about a month or two.

The treatment plan is responded quite effectively. With the help of a minor surgery, the severe symptoms can be abolished. The surgery also helps to lessen the reasons for creating a fine gap in nerve roots. Lumbar fusion helps with the back pain.

Types on the basis of causes

● Dysplastic anterolisthesis is caused by congenital abnormalities
● Isthmic anterolisthesis happens when there is a defect in the pars interarticularis.
● Degenerative anterolisthesis strikes older adults with its symptoms.
● Traumatic anterolisthesis is rare and brings along the fine state of fractures.
● Pathologic anterolisthesis is caused due to a virus or some kind of malignant infection
● Post-surgical anterolisthesis happens due complications that happen during a surgery.

Anterolisthesis Treatment

The treatment plan is based on the level of slippage. Initially, mild symptoms are observed during the grade 1 and grade 2 and the pain increases with the procedure. Mostly, grade 3 and grade 4 are considered for surgery and are likely to be more severe.
Chiropractic theory is often withheld for severe cases. It is a good advice to go for a bed rest and practice medication along with gentle exercise in case of a mild slippage.


The pain caused by anterolisthesis can be treated with NSAIDs also known as Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
If the pain is little for to the sharp side, taking steroids are considered a practice. To get a relief from the pain caused in the lower back, epidural steroids are made an acquaintance.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can anterolisthesis be prevented?

It is not an easy job to prevent anterolisthesis, however, gymnastics, playing football are the prime reasons for the stress caused in the vertebra.

2. What are the risk factors associated with spondylolisthesis?

It is obvious to have spondylolisthesis if there is a history related to back problems. Also, trauma and hypertension are also included in the risk factors of spondylolisthesis. The aging phenomenon also results in the weakness in the bone.

3. Can anyone avoid surgery according to the seriousness of the disorder?

If your vertebrae get misplaced, that’s when this issue occurs. According to grades, i.e., 25% – Grade 1, 25 – 50% – Grade 2, 50 – 70 % – Grade 3 and more than 75% becomes Grade 4. While Grade 4 possess no possibility of conservative treatment, the only role is surgery. Otherwise, there is no requirement of surgery.


Last updated on February 22nd, 2018 at 12:50 pm

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