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spondylolisthesis of C4 on C5

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Old 09-25-2010, 04:09 PM   #1
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Location: Farmington Michigan, USA
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filly1 HB User
Question spondylolisthesis of C4 on C5

My x-ray had this included in other findings; i thought i had arthritis but this finding surprised me; i also have osteopenia of my cervical spine; i have neck discomfort going on for 3 months now which is why i had the x-ray done- does anyone else have spondylolishesis of the cervical spine; i am concerned about cervical spinal instability and wonder what any of you have experienced regarding this issue; spondylolisthesis is when one vertebra (C4) slips onto the vertebra below it. thanks in advance.

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Old 09-28-2010, 05:12 PM   #2
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Re: spondylolisthesis of C4 on C5

Sorry to not get back to you quicker....had bad hands the last few days.

I have major cervical spine problems and have had 2 major cervical spine surgeries. I am now fused from C3 to T1. I also have osteopenia and have been in treatment for the past 3 years. Although it is different from osteoporosis, the treatment is the same. I couldn't tolerate the osteoporosis drugs you take by mouth(one long stomach ache into never got better in between the once a week pills)so I've been getting Reclast, the once a year infusion. Makes me feel like he!! for a couple of weeks but I have improved my bone density significantly.

As for the the lumbar spine, they grade the amount of displacement by the millimeters of displacement so you have grades 1-4. They usually don't do anything with the displacement until you reach a grade 3. In the neck, they don't grade it as the vertebrae are so much smaller and the room for the spinal cord is much less. But it is not unusual. I had both anterior and posterior displacements(anterior is moved forward on the lower vertebra and posterior is moving backwards on it). Both C3 and 4 were displaced backwards over C5 and C5 was forward of C6. C6 was backwards to C7 and C7 was forward to T1. But they were stable. My first surgery was to relieve the pressure that bone spurs(osteophytes) had caused with my spinal cord but that surgery along with another injury, caused the
spondylolistheses to "subluxate" further(dislocate) and at that point, they had to fuse the entire length of my neck. The vertebrae were actaully hitting the spinal cord they were so badly dislocated.

So a one level spondy(easier to type)is not unusual and not cause for alarm unless it is way out of place and causing spinal cord compression. An MRI would show that. And in fact, in many cases, we are born with a spondy that they becomes known by accident(an x-rays for example). Whether the arthritis has caused it or you were born with it or it occurred from something, it may not be a problem, ever. It is more likely that the arthritis in your neck is causing the pain as the bone spurs start to press on nerves in your neck.

If you like to talk to others with neck issues, go on down to the Spinal Cord Disorders board and say hello. That is where we hang out.

Did they recommend any kind of treatment for you?


Old 09-28-2010, 05:31 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Farmington Michigan, USA
Posts: 92
filly1 HB User
Re: spondylolisthesis of C4 on C5

thank you for such an indepth response; you have lots of knowledge about this. i wondered why the cervical spondy wasn't graded; i am going to see my physiatrist next week to discuss the situation and see what he says; i was surprised to see the spondylolisthesis ofthe Cspine and read on the internet that it is "rare"; once i get more info i will post again and i will go to the spinal cord disorders board; thanks for the tip
take care

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