Dr. Sean McCance is a leading NYC spinal spondylolisthesis surgeon who offers slipped vertebrae diagnosis and treatment (including surgical intervention). A slipped vertebrae (spondylolisthesis) occurs when one of the vertebrae of the spinal column slips out of alignment, moving forward on the vertebrae below. The condition is medically referred to as “spondylolisthesis” and usually arises from disc degeneration. When this is associated with childhood or congenital fractures in the back of the vertebral arch this ailment is called “spondylolytic spondylolisthesis”.

“I had a L-3 – L-5 fusion (2 levels). I was an avid sports participant. Before the surgery I was running 4 miles 3 to 4 times a week and bowling three nights a week. I began to suffer with debilitating pain. I am now six months recovered. I am back bowling with less than 1% pain. Yes I said less than 1% pain. I can still touch my toes and everything else.!”~RateMDs

Causes of a Slipped Vertebrae

It is most often caused by disk degeneration and gradual instability, which occurs with aging and wear and tear. It can also be caused by a stress fracture of a vertebrae, which often occurs with athletes in sports activities that put a great deal of stress and pressure on the back, or overstretches the spine. This condition can also result from congenital disorders of the spine.

Risk Factors For Childhood Spondylolisthesis

  • Age: 10-15. This is when most of the progression of the condition occurs, but symptoms may not appear until adulthood.
  • Rapid growth
  • Being an athlete, especially gymnasts, weight-lifters and football players
  • Genetic predisposition

Risk Factors for Adult Degenerative Spondylolisthesis

  • Disc degeneration
  • Anatomical predisposition
  • Occurs in females much more than males
  • Genetic predisposition

Diagnosis of a Slipped Vertebrae

  • We will ask about your symptoms and review you medical history
  • We will perform a physical exam and a neurologic exam
  • We will examine your back, hips, and legs and test for strength, flexibility, sensation, and reflexes
  • Additional medical diagnostic test may be necessary such as X-rays, MRI, CAT Scan, etc.

Treatment Options

  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy usually involves exercise, specifically exercises that strengthen the abdominal muscles and the extensor muscles of the back also known as core strengthening
  • Medications: Pain medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxers, and narcotics may be recommended to help manage your pain, depending on severity
  • Bracing: A brace may be recommended to help stabilize your spine
  • Chiropractic: Chiropractic treatments can be useful to help eliminate spasm and relieve acute back pain
  • Injections: Steroid medication injections may help reduce your pain. These injections are administered around the nerves that exit the spinal canal, if they are compressed.

Surgery Correction of a Slipped Vertebrae Performed by the NYC Spine Surgeon

If the slippage of the vertebrae is severe, causes significant nerve compression, or if your pain does not respond to other conservative treatments, slipped vertebrae surgery may be recommended. This typically involves realigning and fusing two of the vertebrae together in a procedure known as spinal fusion. Instrumentation with screws, rods and/or cages are used to hold the vertebrae together and promote healing.

When Should You Contact The NYC Spine Surgeon

Your back pain:

  • Is severe or gets significantly worse
  • Spreads down your legs
  • Is associated with:
    • Numbness, weakness, or tingling in your legs, buttocks or genital area
    • Loss of bowel or bladder control
    • Difficulty with urination
    • Fever, unexplained weight loss, or other signs of illness
  • Has not started to improve within 7 to 10 days
  • Causes difficulty walking, standing, or moving
  • Is worse at night, or worse when you lie down

Our best in class, Upper East Side, NYC back & neck pain diagnosis & surgery practice, Spine Associates, is honored to provide you with highly personalized and comprehensive care. Our philosophy of direct management of your case by an expert spine surgeon has made us one of the most trusted and respected spine surgery practices on the Upper East Side in NYC and the world. Feel free to contact the back & neck pain diagnosis and spine surgery specialist today to discuss your unique spondylolisthesis / slipped vertebrae condition and start yourself on the road to recovery.

Dr. Sean McCance
1155 Park Avenue, Suite E
New York, NY 10128
(212) 360-6500