What is a Spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a bone (vertebra) in the spine moves forward out of the proper position onto the bone below it.

  • Congenital spondylolisthesis. A vertebra is defective from the time a person is born.
  • Traumatic spondylolisthesis. An injury or trauma causes a vertebra to slip out of place.
  • Post-surgical spondylolisthesis. A vertebra slips out of place after spinal surgery.

Spondylolisthesis Symptoms

  • Pain that extends to the buttocks and thighs

  • Pain that worsens with activity

  • Stiff muscles, which can include tight hamstrings or muscle spasms in the hamstrings

  • Difficulty with standing or walking

  • Tired feeling, tingling, numbness, or weakness in legs


  • Grade I: Less than 25% slip

  • Grade II: 25% to 49% slip

  • Grade III: 50% to 74% slip

  • Grade IV: 75% to 99% slip