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Help to understand C4C5 Spondylolisthesis movement

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I'm looking at my flextion and extention cervical spine images I had yesterday. I want to understand what is going on. Wish I knew how to load the images to post here. Still I'll try to describe what I'm seeing and perhaps someone will have some understanding of spondylolisthesis of the cervical spine.

On extention, which is when I look up, chin up, the spinal column, cord etc is lined up. But when I'm neutral or in a regular lateral position , C1, C2, C3 and C4 are all lined up, but C5, C6, and C7 are also lined up together but not inline with the upper vertebra. The upper cervical vertebra are forward to the lower vertebra by about 4mm from what I can tell. In the flextion position I also have this forward placement of my upper cervical vertebra beginning at C4 and is also about 4mm.

This begs a couple of question in my mind and if anyone can help I appreciate it:
1. If there is this 4mm juxtaposition in flextion and neutral positions and not so in extention, does this indicate I have instability between C4 C5?
2. or...if there appears to not be movement between neutral lateral positon and flextion position, does this indicate I'm actually stable?
3. Would this positioning between upper and lower cervical vertebra indicate I have retrolisthesis or anteriorlothesis?

I know, your not doctors (or play doctors on TV) and can't be definitive etc but Id just like to know if anyone else is in this boat and has become aware of the some or all of the answers!


  • I know how frustrating when you post. It sounds like when my physical therapist calls instability. What does your dr say? Have they considering PT? Just another spiney opinion.
  • Thanks Curly, I've gone the PT route. Had three 8 week sessions over this year alone. Worked with pain clinic 2 years and tried various meds and injections. Paid did not settle down. In fact it changed for the worse. I've now gone back to my Neurosurgeon who understands my anatomy more then anyone because he operated on my brain/head 4 times. He has ordered this imaging. I'll be Fed-exing the films to him on monday. He's 400 miles from here. Then I'll wait to hear from him.
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