Washington University & Barnes-Jewish
Spine Center


Spondylolisthesis is a spinal deformity that happens when a bone in the spine slides over the bone below it. It usually occurs in the lower spine. In some cases, the spinal cord or nerve roots are compressed or squeezed. This can cause leg pain, weakness or numbness. 

Spondylolisthesis can occur in children or adults.  In children, it typically occurs in the lower lumbar vertebra, most commonly L5, and most commonly results from a stress fracture in the growing years.

When spondylolisthesis occurs in adults, it often can be attributed to arthritis or other degenerative diseases. Several orthopedic and neurosurgical surgeons at the Barnes-Jewish & Washington University Spine Center have a special interest in lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis. Our physicians treat patients with both the standard technique of decompression and fusion as well as some of the new minimally invasive techniques of interspinous stabilization.

Physician Specialists – Spondylolisthesis

For a referral to a Washington University orthopedic spine surgeon or neurosurgeon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call .

Patient Jessica and Surgeons

Jessica's spinal condition had deteriorated and she was living life bent at a 90-degree angle at the waist. While at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, an orthopedic surgeon performed spinal reconstruction surgery which allowed her to walk upright.


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