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slipping vertebrae

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Just wondering if anyone knows anything about vertebrae slipping out of place. Is this something that happens after disc surgery? Are the symptoms different than that of a ruptured disc? Would "cracking" my back be the same thing as a vertebrae slipping? Any info. is helpful.




  • a slipping vertebrae is spondylolisthesis, a forward or backwards shift of the vertebrae, caused by one of a few factors.

    This is my compliant. I have had a 2 level fusion. I am now stable but still have issues (another story)

    I suffered disc pain from 2 torn discs and the unastable slipping vertebrae.
    My insticts wanted to wrap me up in tape, I walked woodeno try and stabilise myself although you do all this unconcsiously. The pain from the discs...I am not sure.
    I think I know when I blew one...tremendous shooting pain, immobilised by the protective spasms.

    Cracking can be normal and might not be.
    Sounds like something is worrying you CSP...perhaps you need to get yourself checked b a doc who can do a physical exam which will help diagnose.

    decompressions can sometimes cause instability and sometimes done with fusions.

    Hope that helps. Ask me anything else if I can help I will try!
  • Hi i had cracking and grinding in my back which was caused by arthritis probably from referred pain from my herniated disc. Anyway, I hope you get that checked out. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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  • I have a slipped disc now since having ACDF surgery. I don't know when or how it happened. I am now due to have a second surgery because my spine is now unstable and causing nerve pain. I can tell you my cervical experience was that the pain was pretty much the same for me with both. They both caused immense pain with radiculopathy first on the left and now on the right. You need to see your doc ASAP.
  • What do you mean by cracking your back?

    I would say there is no way it is the same. A slip of one vertebra over the one adjacent to it happens due to a structural weakness. When part of the lamina is removed to access the disc, this has the potential to make that segment of the spine unstable....It depends on how much of the bone is removed, among other things. So sometimes it can happen after a laminectomy or discectomy. This instability is one of the main reason why a fusion is performed.

    The symptoms can be similar. There is often a compressed nerve that results in radiculopathy or sciatic pain. Sometimes there is lower lumbar pain.
  • Hi CSP! Just my experience: after my 2 lammies, I developed spondy (18% slip) & NS said the priors caused things to go south...

    So I guess it's "yes"--in some circumstances, opening things up can cause the vertabrae to slip, but I had other factors also: DDD, facet problems, sciataca/nerve compression, disc problems, blah blah blah...back also made cracking noises during PT session & still sometimes does, now post-fusion...don't know if that means anything...indeed, sometimes it feels good!

    NS consoled my by saying you could drag 10 people off the street & give them MRI's and over 1/2 of them would show some normal slippage, but only a few would have pain...i other words, you can have pain w/ a slip or have a slip w/ no pain....!

    Go figure! I also have scar tissue binding down my nerve roots..and continued neuro pain in right leg/foot, as per your signature...goes w/ the territory, I guess, being a spiney...

    What are you planning to do? Sounds like you've seen enough OR's for now...! Have you had a recent MRI?


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  • I also have inward slippage of the vertebra (retrolisthesis) and it happened right after my microdiscectomy/laminectomy. This was one of the reasons why I decided to go along with a fusion to correct this situation. I'm quite sure it contributed to the pain I experienced. I don't know what causes that cracking sound, but to me it sounds to have something to do with arthritis. Whatever is going on, I hope you feel better soon. Take care
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