What is Spondylothesis?
Spondylolisthesis is the forward displacement of a vertebra, especially the fifth lumbar vertebra, most commonly occurring after a break or fracture. Backward displacement is referred to as retrolisthesis.
The variant "listhesis," resulting from division of this compound word, is sometimes applied in conjunction with scoliosis. These "slips" occur most commonly in the lumbar spine. Spondylolysis (a defect or fracture of the pars interarticularis of the vertebral arch) is the most common cause of spondylolisthesis, which should not be confused with a slipped disc, in which one of the spinal discs in between the vertebrae has ruptured.
A hangman's fracture is a specific type of spondylolisthesis where the second cervical vertebra (C2) is displaced anteriorly relative to the C3 vertebra due to fractures of the C2 vertebra's pedicles.