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If the displacement is more than 2 millimeters, your doctor may diagnose you with retrolisthesis (eg, Grade 1).
Treatment involves a variety of methods depending on how severe the condition is and how other tissues and discs may be affected.
Surgery is only needed if nonsurgical treatments aren’t effective.
If spine surgery is recommended, your doctor will explain exactly why it is necessary, the surgical goals and type of procedure.
For example, a progressive or high grade retrolisthesis may require spinal stabilization using instrumentation and fusion to prevent the condition from worsening.
Retrolistheses are typically found in the cervical spine (shoulder and neck region), lumbar region (lower back and pelvis), and thoracic spine (stomach region), although this is less common. Retrolisthesis is caused by decreased height between vertebrae, or decreased height of the intervertebral discs.
Scientists don’t fully understand what causes the intervertebral discs to shorten, but some conditions and factors include: Your doctor will conduct a physical exam and ask about your symptoms.Another term for either disorder is vertebral displacement. Both disorders can develop at any vertebral level in the spinal column, although the cervical (neck) and lumbar (low back) regions are more common.The neck is subjected to stresses as it supports the , and absorbs and distributes forces while at rest and during physical function.Similar to spondylolisthesis, the severity of a retrolisthesis is graded from 1 to 4 based on the percentage of posterior (backward) displacement of the vertebral body’s foramen (neuroforamen).The grade of a retrolisthesis is important to assessing the stability of the adjacent facet joint. Your orthopedists and doctor will see if there will be long-term spinal and neurological damage before recommending surgery.Spinal surgery aims to reduce slippage, pain, and instability, prevent or reverse any neurologic loss, and more.If your doctor tells you that one of your vertebrae has slipped backward, you may immediately assume that spine surgery is your only option. There are many considerations before advancing to surgery, such as the retrolisthesis grade, stability of the slip and its risk for progression, symptom severity, and your response to non-operative therapies. Non-surgical treatments may involve a single therapy or a combination, and are often successful at managing the inflammation, pain and related symptoms. The retrolisthesis may be viewed on the x-ray or other imaging study. Using the image, your doctor can measure its displacement (how far out of normal position). Chapter 31: Prevention, Identification, and Treatment of Inadequate Decompression of the Cervical Spine.