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Forward displacement of a vertebra upon the one below as a result of a bilateral defect in the vertebral arch, or erosion of the articular surface of the posterior facets due to degenerative joint disease.



the forward displacement of the spine in man as a result of degenerative changes in an intervertebral disk or spondylolysis (congenital aplasia of a vertebral arch). The displacement of the fifth lumbar vertebra over the sacrum is the most common form of spondylolisthesis. The disease develops slowly over several years; however, it may sometimes appear suddenly after a trauma. Its development is promoted by other diseases of the spine, including spondylosis, by heavy physical labor, and by an increase in body weight. The disease is manifested by pain and limited mobility in the corresponding segment of the spine. Roentgenologic examination is important in diagnosing spondylolisthesis. Treatment is complex and includes special work arrangements, kinesitherapy, and the use of corsets that relieve strain. Osteoplasty is performed if vertebral displacement is pronounced.

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Her MRI scan showed a left-sided L3-4 synovial cyst (Figure 1a) and a Grade 1 anterolisthesis of L3 on L4 (Figures 1b), which was also visible on the lateral x-ray (Figure 1c).
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