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Chiropractic Research Review

Distinct Motion Patterns Caused by Spondylolisthesis

Fluoroscopic lumbar sagittal motion videos recorded 16 back-pain patients (eight with chronic low-back pain and eight with degenerative spondylolisthesis) and 13 healthy volunteers in a study designed to evaluate lumbar flexion/extension motion by way of videofluoroscopy.

Videos recorded eight seconds of motion as subjects bent forward from a standing position, then returned to their original position. The results were analyzed and presented as follows:

* In the volunteer group, six subjects exhibited sequentially spreading motion, four showed simultaneous motion, and three revealed an altered motion-spreading pattern in the eccentric phase.

* Two-thirds (67%) of patients with chronic low-back pain showed normal patterns, but 88% of patients with spondylolisthesis showed disordered patterns, including prolonged deflection of the slipped segment.

Conclusion: Motion disorder in the eccentric phase and prolonged deflection in the concentric phase were more frequently observed in patients with spondylolisthesis compared with low-back pain patients or healthy volunteers. These results imply that segmental instability influences the entire lumbar motion in patients suffering from degenerative spondylolisthesis.

Okawa A, Shinomiya K, Komori H, et al. Dynamic motion study of the whole lumbar spine by videofluoroscopy. Spine, Aug. 15, 1998:23(16), pp1743-49.

Chiropractic Research Review

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