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Paul Oakley
Deed Harrison


Spondylolisthesis, Low Back Pain, Lumbar Traction


Objective: To discuss the correction of multiple retrolistheses in a patient with back pain.

Clinical Features: A 32-year old male sought care for recurrent back pain. He had reduced lumbar spine range of motion without neurologic involvement. Radiographic analysis showed multilevel pathologic retrolistheses from L1-2 to L4-5, as well as congenital fusion of L5-S1.

Intervention and Outcome: The treatment consisted of lumbar extension traction and spinal manipulation. Following treatment, the patient experienced significant back pain relief and increased flexibility. Follow-up lumbar radiography illustrated reduction of all retrolistheses to within normal. A 13-month follow-up demonstrated stability of the initial multi-level retrolisthesis subluxation corrections and the patient experienced no further pain.

Conclusion: This case illustrates that early lumbar spine (grade 1) retrolistheses are amenable to correction via non-surgical means. This is the second case in the literature showing spinal traction successfully reducing spondylolisthesis.


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