Understanding Isthmic Spondylolisthesis

Understanding Isthmic Spondylolisthesis

For those who have been following our site or read our FREE Ebook you know that we are big advocates of learning as much information as possible about your spondylolisthesis.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with a spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis learning and understanding the condition can play a key role in increasing your odds of a successful recovery.

One of the most common forms or types of spondylolisthesis is called istmic spondylolisthesis. Understanding this certain type of spondy is a very important building block in your recovery process.

For those who are unaware that there are different types of spondylolisthesis please check out the link provided for a great article.

When I was diagnosed with an isthmic spondylolisthesis I dug around and tried to learn as much as I could about this form of spondy.

During my research stages I found some very interesting information and I wanted to pass along a very helpful resource in your knowledge building process.

There are so many internet sites that provide some very brief descriptions of spondy’s. They often mention a few symptoms, some warning signs and perhaps one or two cookie cutter exercises to perform for that condition.

Although these sites do provide some basic information about the condition they often leave out tons of facts.Kozzi-facts-sign-shows-true-information-and-data-360 X 360

When I do my research or learning I love to look in Medical Journals, various PDF’s, and other resources that dive more into the condtion and offer scientific based research and evidence. These reasources are not always the first site you run across and you sometimes have to look for them.

Entering terms such as “spondylolisthesis medical reviews” and “spondylolysis PDF’s” in search engines will often times bring up some great search results.

One such helpful article I found on isthmic spondylolisthesis provided some great information and statistics.

This article was a transcript from the Nuerosurg. Focus/Volume 13/July, 2002. It was written by Aruna Gangu, M.D.

Check out this great isthmic spondylolisthesis article yourself.

note: the above link is to an article that is in PDF format.

If you have a few minutes and are interested in learning about this type of spondy I highly encourage you to read it.

Below are a few of the points from this article I found very interesting.


  • Isthmic spondy’s are demonstrated in 4-8% of the general population and are the most common form of spondylolisthesis.
  • The first written description of this type of spondy occured in 1782!
  • Spondy’s are only indentified in humans.
  • Typically spondy’s are not observed in newborns. Humans usually develop them as they begin to stand erect.
  • Istmic spondy’s occur twice as often in males when compared to females. Females, however, are 4x more likely to develop further slippage.
  • The Pars Interarticularis (area in the vertabrae that is fractured in spondy’s) is subjected to the greatest force of any structure in the lumbar spine! Unfortunately, this part is also the weakest part of the nueral arch. This is a good bet why so many fractures occur.
  • The most common site for isthmic spondy’s to occur is at the L5 -S1 level.
  • In the pediatric and adolescent population, spondylolisthesis is the predominant cause of low back pain and sciatica (a great reason to have your child checked out at the first signs of back pain).
  • For those with Grades 1 or 2 spondy’s, 70% had a resolution of pain with non-operative treatment.

There is tons of more great information in this article. Please check it out if you want to learn more about isthmic spondylolisthesis. With it being one of the most common forms of spondy’s there are many that can benefit from learning about this condition.

Please leave any comments or suggestions below or pass this article along to someone who you think it may help.


Ganju A: Isthmic Spondylolisthesis: Nuero Surg Focus 13 (1) Article 1, 2002

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