What are the possible complications of lumbar spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis?

Updated: Jul 08, 2020
  • Author: Beth B Froese, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Answer

Younger patients have a higher risk for progression of isthmic or congenital spondylolisthesis. Serial radiographic studies (standing lateral films only) should be performed every 6 months to follow these patients. Progression rarely occurs after adolescence. Patients with a unilateral pars defect may be prone to developing a contralateral pars defect with extension stress. Patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis are often older and have coexisting medical issues that must be taken into consideration when deciding appropriate treatment.


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