Spondylolisthesis is a condition commonly caused by osteoporosis. It is characterized by a slipping forward of one or more of the vertebrae. This distortion and misalignment of the spinal column causes pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots.
Degenerative spondylolisthesis is caused by a weakening of the vertebral joints. If the condition is accompanied by spinal stenosis, surgery is often recommended.
Isthmic spondylolisthesis is caused by a fracture of the vertebral bone which allows the vertebra to slip forward. This condition may be corrected with a spinal fusion procedure.
Symptoms of spondylolisthesis depend on the location and severity of the diseased area of the spine, and can include pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and loss of fine motor skills. Severe spondylolysis can cause myelopathy, a loss of coordination and a heavy feeling in the affected limbs.