Depending upon the cause and severity, Spondylolisthesis can be serious in some cases. Constant low back pain, leg pain, numbness, or tingling sensation may result in extreme discomfort which may reduce a person’s ability to perform daily life activities. This can significantly lower the quality of life.
Potential complications caused by Spondylolisthesis are explained in this article by Dr. Kalyan Bommakanti the best neurosurgeon in Hyderabad, India.
If not diagnosed and treated on time, the compression and stress exerted on the surrounding nerves and blood vessels may increase with time resulting in a condition called spinal stenosis at the lumbar region. It causes severe back pain that may radiate to one or both legs and weakness.
Spinal fractures can also be caused because of the excessive stress exerted on the underlying vertebra. Individuals who are already diagnosed with arthritis, osteoporosis, or any bone disease are at high risk of these fractures. The fractured vertebra may cause some serious damage to the surrounding nerves and blood vessels.
In extreme cases, the nerves present at the lowest part of the spine are compressed resulting in a serious condition called cauda equina syndrome. This syndrome is considered a medical emergency because if not treated properly, it can affect the feeling sensations in the legs, the functional ability of the bladder, and even paralysis.
Apart from spinal stenosis and fractures, Spondylolisthesis can also increase lordosis initially and when the upper back keeps exerting pressure on the lower back increasing forward spinal angulation it can cause kyphosis. Hamstrings tightness is a common feature of this. Spinal infection can also occur in rare cases.
Advanced radiological imaging can help in identifying the problematic area and the level of the damage. Usually, after diagnosing Spondylolisthesis it is advised to treat it with conservative methods first because of the possible risks associated with spinal surgery. But in severe cases where all conservative methods are exhausted yet no outcome is gained, then surgery is necessary.