A Slippage of the Spine

There is a common deformity of the spine that is familiar to very few people, even though it occurs in up to five percent of the population (that’s one person out of twenty). It is called Spondylolisthesis (Spon-di-lo-lis-thee-sis), which is Greek for “slippage of the spine.”

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Scoliosis

Our spines curve naturally in an “S” shape from front to back. This curving gives our spines a springiness that helps absorb shocks as we walk and run. However, our spines are not supposed to curve from side to side.

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Band-Aid Back Surgery

Until recently, people who had painful sciatica from herniated (in other words, ruptured) disks in their backs have had only one choice if they needed surgery: we made a small one-inch incision, exposed the disk, and removed the herniated portion that was pressing on the nerves and causing the sciatica.

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Herniated Disks

Most people have had bouts of sciatica at some point in their lives, or have known somebody who did. It consists of pain which starts in the buttock region and radiates down the leg. Most of the time the pain is annoying but not excruciating, and it goes away without much help in a few days to weeks.

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Is it my hip or my back?

The lower back and the hip are close together. Often a patient will present to my office with “hip pain” that turns out to be coming from the back. I also see frequent cases where a patient thinks he is having sciatica but who turns out to have a hip problem. How can you tell the difference?

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