Spondylolisthesis is a spinal disease that affects the lower vertebrae (spinal bones). This disease causes one of the lower vertebrae to slip forward onto the bone directly beneath it.
- It’s a painful condition however treatable in most cases.
- Both therapeutic and surgical methods may be used.
- Proper exercise techniques will assist you to avoid this condition.
Spondylolisthesis or slipping of one vertebra over the other is usually taken care by the surgery if it fails to give relief with conservative means.
The most important part is to relieve the pressure of the spinal and nerve roots and prepare a healthy environment for bones to fuse.
When a patient has back pain or has a surgery in which enough bone is removed to destabilize the spine, in these cases patient may need a fusion surgery to stabilize the spine, as well as to alleviate the symptoms.
Smoking has proven to cause spine problems, including neck and lower back. Also, smoking is detrimental for patients who require spine surgery, especially fusion surgeries. It has been shown that smoking delays spine fusion, and it triggers a higher incidence of nonunion, which further require revision surgery.
Usually, before the surgery, doctor discuss with the patient regarding all the possible spine issues and how to manage them. If there is an undiagnosed and unexpected issue, which has not been detected and discussed earlier, treating doctor would go ahead and discuss it with the patient’s relative and treat it accordingly from there.
If there is something, which can wait and is not detrimental to the patient, and relatives are not able to make a decision on it, the doctor may leave it for further discussion with the patient after the surgery.
Most of the patients with back surgery can be discharged within one to four days after the surgery depending on the type of surgery and the type of recovery that they have. Patients who undergo complex spine surgeries may need a longer period of hospitalization and recovery.
The patient may need other medical equipment like a walker or a stick.
If that’s needed, the hospital will provide such equipment before their discharge and patient get trained how to use them by the expert therapist. If the patient requires an adjustable bed, they are informed about that and that can be done prior to the surgery. It is favourable for patients to stay downstairs for a few weeks.
Patients with low demand work and a desk job can be back to work as soon as 3 to 6 weeks after the surgery depending on patient pain control as well as recovery. Patients who are in heavy lifting or control of heavy machinery or handyman job may take 3 to 4 months, or even more get back to work depending on their recovery from the surgery.
Patients after back surgery are usually started on physical therapy, if they need, depending on the physician’s advice, at two to four weeks after the surgery. Sometimes, patients do not require physical therapy. A decision to go into physical therapy will depend on the surgery as well as their recovery.
If the patient has a superficial infection, a few days of antibiotics will help heal these infections. Occasionally the patient may develop a deep infection. Although deep infection in rare, if occurs than, patients may need IV antibiotics for a longer period.
Patients who develop a neurological deficit in the form of weakness or involvement of bowel or bladder may have irreversible damage if the surgery is delayed enough.
Most of the patients can undergo safe surgery due to the development of vision magnification as well as refined surgical techniques. However, General surgical risks of low back surgeries include bleeding, infection, and persistence of pain, reversible/irreversible nerve damage leading to tingling, numbness, or weakness down the legs or involvement of bowel or bladder. Rare risk includes failure of fusion or failure of implants.