Skip to content


  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

A descriptive study of lateral spondylolisthesis in patients with adult scoliosis

  • 1,
  • 2 and
  • 2
Scoliosis20127 (Suppl 1) :P13

  • Published:


  • Back Pain
  • Lumbar Spine
  • Down Syndrome
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Degenerative Disc Disease

Lateral Spondylolisthesis is seen as a consequence of degenerative disc disease. It occurs primarily in the lumbar spine, and is often associated with adult degenerative scoliosis. When it occurs, it can result in severe back pain from disc instability and radicular leg pain from nerve root compression [16].

This is a descriptive study of a series of 32 patients with Lateral Lumbar Spondylolisthesis to evaluate the demographics of the population that this occurs in, the symptoms that it causes, and the association that it has with scoliosis.

All patients seen by the authors in a spinal deformity clinic during the calendar year 2010 had their radiographs screened for evidence of lateral Spondylolisthesis. If the 1319 patients screened, this condition was found in 32 patients. They were included if their Spondylolisthesis was greater than 2mm. The cervical, thoracic and lumbar films were screened, but all 32 patients had their lateral spondylolisthesis in the lumbar spine only.

They were primarily female (84%) and averaged 63 years of age. The youngest patient seen was 35 years old and had a congenital Klippel-Feil Syndrome and congenital scoliosis in the lumbar spine. The others had primarily adult degenerative scoliosis. There was a high prevalence of osteoporosis (41%).

Patients primarily complained of low back pain (94%), but 22% also complained of radicular leg pain. Two patients who did not complain of either leg or back pain both had Down Syndrome. Radiographs showed degenerative scoliosis in all patients, with an average lumbar curve of 50 degrees.

Authors’ Affiliations

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, USA
Illinois Bone and Joint Institute, USA


  1. Libson E, Bloom RA: Scoliosis in young men with spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis. A comparative study in symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects. Spine. 1984, 9 (5): 445-447. 10.1097/00007632-198407000-00003.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. McPhee IB, O'Brien JP: Scoliosis in symptomatic spondylolisthesis. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1980, 62-B (2): 155-157.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Ploumis A, Transfeldt EE: Anatomic changes in lateral spondylolisthesis associated with adult lumbar scoliosis. Spine. 2005, 30: E671-5. 10.1097/01.brs.0000186581.44715.df.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  4. Pneumaticos SG, Esses SI: Scoliosis associated with lumbar spondylolisthesis: a case presentation and review of the literature. Spine J. 2003, 3 (4): 321-324. 10.1016/S1529-9430(03)00026-3.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Reddy SJ, Al-Holou WN: Traumatic lateral spondylolisthesis of the lumbar spine with a unilateral locked facet: description of an unusual injury, probable mechanism, and management. J Neurosurg Spine. 2008, 9 (6): 576-580. 10.3171/SPI.2008.6.08301.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Toyone T, Tanaka T: Anatomic changes in lateral spondylolisthesis associated with adult lumbar scoliosis. Spine. 2005, 30 (22): E671-67. 10.1097/01.brs.0000186581.44715.df.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar


© Knott et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.