Notice: Users may be experiencing issues with displaying some pages on We are working closely with our technical teams to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Spondylosis is age-related change of the bones (vertebrae) and discs of the spine.Only if the degeneration leads to an exposure of the nerve root or compression of the nerve will pain occur.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants.
Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.
Studies have shown that 5-10% of patients seeing a spine specialist for low back pain will have either a spondylolysis or isthmic spondylolisthesis.
However, because isthmic spondylolisthesis is not always painful, the presence of a crack (spondylolysis) and slip (spondylolisthesis) on the X-ray image does not mean that this is the source of your symptoms.
Spondylosis, spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis are three different ways that the human spine can degenerate over time.
Spondylo means spine and is the prefix for these three issues.Spondylosis refers to osteophytes, or bone spurs that come away from the body of the vertebrae.As with all of these issues, they don’t always cause pain.Spondylolisthesis is more intense that either of the first two spondylos.Spondylolisthesis involves an entire disc shifting forward (or sometimes back), very often following the fracture of the pars interarticularis.This happens most often in the lumbar spine but can occur anywhere.All of these issues can be asymptomatic and never cause pain and discomfort.Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment.As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.This type of fracture (called a spondylolysis) is simply a crack in part of the vertebra (Figure 1) and may cause no problem at all.However, sometimes the cracked vertebra does slip forward over the vertebra below it. Isthmic spondylolisthesis may not cause any symptoms for years (if ever) after the slippage has occurred.