Before radiography was invented, spondylolisthesis was commonly mistaken for other prevalent diseases occurring at that time such as Pott’s disease. Since then, our knowledge of the condition has tremendously improved and that has helped with the search for its etiology, diagnosis, and treatment. The treatment of spondylolisthesis used to consist solely of nonoperative management with various types and combinations of casting and bedrest. However, since the introduction of surgical fusion techniques, there are various ways to treat patients who have failed conservative treatment. The general principles usually involve posterior, anterior, or combined fusion with or without instrumentation, and decompression if neurologic deficits are encountered. Reduction can be obtained with instrumentation, but complications are high. Although these concepts can be approached through multiple surgical approaches, the trend has been to combine them into a one-stage approach to minimize morbidity.
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