Treatments and Conditions

The OHSU Spine Center offers a full range of treatments for spondylolisthesis. The right treatment for you depends on how severe your symptoms are and how long you have had symptoms. It also depends on how far out of place your vertebrae are and how likely they are to slide more. Our goal is to relieve your pain and prevent further symptoms.

Pre-treatment plan

At your first appointment, your doctor will have reviewed your comprehensive health questionnaire. Your answers give the doctor detailed information about your pain and ability to function. This will help determine how serious your symptoms are  and what treatments will be most helpful.

Conservative (non-surgical) treatment

The conservative treatment for spondylolisthesis is usually rest, physical therapy and exercises to strengthen your neck, trunk and abdominal muscles. Spondylolisthesis usually gets better with physical therapy. Your physical therapist helps you strengthen the muscles around your spine and increase flexibility so you can move more easily.

If you have leg or arm pain, anti-inflammatory medication can help. Wearing a brace can help if you have muscle spasms.

Surgical treatment

If your symptoms don't go away with other treatments, or you have severe spondylolisthesis, you might need surgery. If your symptoms are severe or the vertebrae have slid far out of place, you might need spinal fusion surgery to keep the bones from moving.