Similar to spondylolisthesis, the severity of a retrolisthesis is graded from 1 to 4 based on the percentage of posterior (backward) displacement of the vertebral body’s foramen (neuroforamen).
The grade of a retrolisthesis is important to assessing the stability of the adjacent facet joint.
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A retrolisthesis is a posterior displacement of one vertebral body with respect to the subjacent vertebra to a degree less than a luxation (dislocation).
If spine surgery is recommended, your doctor will explain exactly why it is necessary, the surgical goals and type of procedure.
For example, a progressive or high grade retrolisthesis may require spinal stabilization using instrumentation and fusion to prevent the condition from worsening.
Another term for either disorder is vertebral displacement. Both disorders can develop at any vertebral level in the spinal column, although the cervical (neck) and lumbar (low back) regions are more common.
The neck is subjected to stresses as it supports the , and absorbs and distributes forces while at rest and during physical function.