Tuesday, August 17, 2021


Blog Post: Low-Grade Spondylolisthesis (Part 3)                                                                                          8-17-2021

The case in the last post is a Low-Grade Slip/Spondylolisthesis Fusion Surgery. The cage which is placed in the front add to the strength of the repair, by minimizing deflection due to cantilever forces.

The below link explain this:



However, sometimes a cage isn’t needed or simply cannot be placed into the front of the spine.

The below case demonstrates a Low-Grade Slip/Spondylolisthesis L5-S1 Fusion Surgery without a cage.

The young lady is now 5 years out from surgery, has no pain and is participating in the activities she wants without limitation.

Regardless if a cage is placed, or not, the goal is a solid, stable, durable fusion which should enable the individual to participate in activities of daily living and athletics with minimal back/leg pain.



If I have surgery will my back pain and leg pain go away 100%? In general, fusion surgery allows significant low back pain relief, and if they have buttock/leg pain that is also improved. Since pain is a subjective sensation, the amount of pain relief can vary.

How long will I be out of sports? The fusion process, L5 to S1, takes several years to get strong, but we can often let our athletes return to their sports at 6 months postoperatively, depending on the sport, its intensity and level of participation.  Advanced imaging at 6 months, such as a CT scan, can be helpful.

Are there any activities or sports which are not recommended to do after surgery? Long-term, after this surgery, I do not recommend sports such as American football, rugby, wrestling, tumbling and gymnastics. These sports place an extreme amount of force on the low back, and the surgical repair site.  In addition, weightlifting exercises of dead lift and squats are discouraged, for the same reason. All other sports and recreational activities can otherwise be restarted, as long as healing is on track.

Can the slip get worse after surgery? If the surgery is a success, meaning the fusion occurs, then the slip cannot get worse.

Will I need more than one surgery? The goal is to perform one surgery.  The spine implants stay in forever.

 In the next posts we will show High-Grade Spondylolistheses/Slips


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