Can Spondylolisthesis be treated without surgery or medication?

Yes. Through advances in neuroscience and technology there now is a state-of-the art treatment available that can move the displaced bone back into a better position, relieving you of pain and improving movement and mobility.

What is the best way to treat Spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis, a condition in which a bone has moved out of place in your back. Spondylolisthesis surgery is not necessary in each case. It can be treated non-surgically with a specialized, computerized system that helps guide the displaced bone into a better position, freeing the nerves that come out of the back. This procedure can reduce and eliminate pain and help people regain quality of life through increased movement and mobility. The system is called the DRX-9000c and is only offered at specialized, highly trained clinics.


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Spinal Decompression.

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How does treatment work?

Spinal decompression uses state-of-the art technology to guide the spinal segments into a better position providing relief to the nerve. This gets rid of pain allowing the spinal discs to heal through improved blood flow, rehydration, and regeneration.

Who offers treatment?

Leigh Brain and Spine in Chapel Hill is one of very few offices in the Raleigh-Durham triangle area that offers true Spinal Decompression using the DRX-9000c. Many other service providers call their service “decompression” when it is really traction. The difference seems slight but is hugely important. In true non-surgical spinal decompression the spinal segments are gently guided apart using a distinct and unique computerized biofeedback mechanism that produces just the right amount of pull to allow the spinal segments to move and the nerves that are causing pain to be freed.

How is Spondylolisthesis diagnosed?

If you suffer from any of the symptoms related to spondylolisthesis then you need to see a doctor who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of such a condition. Your doctor will perform a specialized assessment, including X-rays and MRI, to determine if it is present and to what degree it is occurring. X-rays can show if any of the spinal segments, called vertebrae are fractured, have cracks, or have slipped out of place. MRI and CT scan may be used to further image more of the damage caused by the bone issues.

What is Spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a bone in your back slides forward over the bone below it. Most times this occurs in the lower back and can lead to pinching of the spinal cord and nerve roots. Back pain, numbness and weakness in one or both legs can result. In rare cases you may lose bowel or bladder control. In this case, see a doctor right away.

Sometimes, the bone can be out of place for years without symptoms developing and then slight back or buttock pain begins and gets worse over time. Muscles in your legs may feel tight or weak as the condition worsens. You may feel the need to limp.


What causes Spondylolisthesis?

Small joints in your spine keep the vertebral bones aligned while still allowing them to move. Spondylolisthesis results from a problem with one or more of these joints that allows for the bone to move out of alignment, causing pain, movement, and mobility issues that can be limiting and debilitating.

Are there different kinds?

Yes, there are 3 Main types that occur most frequently and 3 other types that can occur as well.

3 Main Types:

  • Degenerative — This is the most common form of the disorder. With aging, the spinal discs — the spongy cushions between the vertebral bones — lose water, become less spongy and become more susceptible to moving.
  • Isthmic — This type occurs as the result of spondylolysis, a condition that leads to small stress fractures (breaks) in the vertebrae. The fractures allow the bones to move out of place because they are weakened.
  • Congenital — This type has been present since you were born as a result of abnormal bone formation. The abnormal arrangement of vertebrae puts you at greater risk for o moving out of place.

Other forms can occur including from trauma, disease, and after surgery. These conditions weaken the bones in the back and make them more prone to moving out of place.

  • Traumatic – occurs after an injury leads to a spinal fracture or slippage.
  • Pathological – occurs when an infection, tumor, or osteoporosis makes the spine weakened by disease and susceptible to slipping out of place.
  • Post-surgical – occurs or becomes worse after spinal surgery the bones are at risk for moving out of place.

Can children get Spondylolisthesis?

Yes. Kids can get this condition, usually it happens when they are involved a sport or activity that puts them at a higher risk for back problems. Gymnastics and weightlifting in particular can put under stress on a child’s back causing stress fractures in the vertebrae.

Spondylolisthesis affects children and teens involved in sports. Some sports, such as gymnastics or weight lifting, can overuse back bones to the point of causing stress fractures in vertebrae, which can result in this condition.
Older adults can develop it too, because wear and tear on the back leads to stress fractures. It can also occur without stress fractures when the disc and joints are worn down and slip out of place.

What are Spondylolisthesis symptoms?

  • Back or buttock pain.
  • Leg Pain, in one or both legs, running down from the back.
  • Numbness or weakness in one or both legs.
  • Difficulty walking. Limping.
  • Pain that gets worse when you bend over or twist.
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control, in rare cases.

Sometimes it causes no symptoms at all.

How do I know if I have Spondylolisthesis?

To know for sure you need to be evaluated by a doctor who has experience in identifying Spondylolisthesis on X-ray and MRI.