Spondylolisthesis Specialist

Kenneth Nwosu, MD

Spine Surgeon located in Burien, WA & Puyallup, WA

When you have fractures in your spine, it can cause your vertebrae to move out of alignment, leading to chronic pain and mobility issues. At his orthopedic practices in Burien and Puyallup, Washington, Kenneth Nwosu, MD, offers minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery to restore the stability of your spine and relieve persistent pain. Find out if you’re a candidate for surgery if other treatments for spondylolisthesis aren’t effective by calling the office of Kenneth Nwosu, MD, nearest you or by booking online today.

Spondylolisthesis Q & A

What is spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a condition that results when you have stress fractures in your spinal vertebrae. These fractures can weaken the bone enough to cause it to move out of position in your spinal column, shifting it forward or backward, compressing nerves in your spine.

When you have high-grade spondylolisthesis, more than 50% of your vertebrae has slipped forward and presses on nearby nerves. If you have a high-grade slip, you’re more likely to experience chronic pain and are at risk for nerve damage without surgical treatment.

What causes spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis can occur due to overuse of your spine, common in sports participation or other high-impact activities.

You may also be at risk for spondylolisthesis if you have genetic factors that make your vertebrae thinner than usual, increasing your risk for fractures.

What are the symptoms of spondylolisthesis?

You can have spondylolisthesis and not have any symptoms. However, if the shifting of the vertebrae is advanced, you can develop issues like:

  • Back stiffness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tight hamstrings

The pain of spondylolisthesis can also feel like a burning or tingling sensation, radiating into your legs. Pain can also affect your mobility, making it difficult to walk or stand.

Do I need surgery for spondylolisthesis?

In some cases, rest and physical therapy are enough to relieve the pain and symptoms of spondylolisthesis. However, if you have a high-grade slip in your vertebrae, you may need surgical intervention to prevent permanent nerve damage and ensure your spine is stable.

Kenneth Nwosu, MD, offers minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery that fuses the affected vertebrae into one solid piece of bone. This type of surgery prevents movement of the damaged vertebrae, keeping your spine stabilized and alleviating the pain of nerve compression.

Using only small incisions, Dr. Nwosu realigns your vertebrae before placing a piece of bone, known as a bone graft, over the treatment area. This piece of bone fuses to your vertebrae over time, and Dr. Nwosu may add screws or pins to ensure a successful fusion.

In some cases, Dr. Nwosu may also need to remove bone particles to open up the spinal canal and reduce pressure on your nerves to ensure long-term pain relief.

Find out more about your surgery options for spondylolisthesis by calling the office of Kenneth Nwosu, MD, nearest you or using the online booking feature to request an appointment.