Spine conditions

Lumbar Isthmic Spondylolysis/listhesis

By on October 24th, 2016

Isthmic spondylolysis is a fracture that occurs in childhood but does not create much pain until a patient is in young adulthood. It is very common, occuring in 6% of the population and in most cases there are no symptoms. The fracture is usually due to cumulative stress, analogous to taking a paper clip and bending it multiple times. It will eventually break apart after enough stress.


Isthmic spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebral body slips forward on the one below it because of a spondylolysis defect. This is most common at the L5-S1 level and can cause low back pain from instability and nerve compression. It has been estimated that 80% of people with a spondylolisthesis will never have symptoms, and if it does become symptomatic, only 15 to 20% will ever need surgical correction.
Spinal core strengthening and stabilization are very important in decreasing pain in these conditions.



Kamshad Raiszadeh, M.D.

Dr. Raiszadeh's completed medical school at UC San Francisco, orthopedic surgery residency at UC Davis and his Pediatric and Adult Spine Fellowship at the Hospital for Joint Diseases/NYU in New York City. He has 20 years of experience with the broad range of spine surgery including minimally invasive surgery, complex spinal disorders such as scoliosis and kyphosis, and cervical spine disorders. During this 20 years he has noticed a dramatic increase in patients turning to surgery for treatment of neck and low back pain, but many of them not getting their desired long-term result. He therefore became increasingly interested in improvement and standardization of non-operative treatment. By developing the best aspects of non-operative treatment in an atmosphere of empowerment to maximize the body’s own healing capacity, he noticed that many fewer patients required surgery, and the ones who underwent surgery had much better long term results.

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