Traumatic L5 over S1 spondyloptosis without neurological involvement managed nonoperatively: a case report

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Abstract

High-grade spondylolisthesis is very rare. We came across a case of high-grade spondylolisthesis at the L5-S1 level in a 32-year-old manual labourer who was hit by a heavy object on his flexed back. The patient presented to us with persistent deformity in the back. He complained of back pain on prolonged standing and after moderate work. Because of that he was unable to return to his work. On clinical examination there was a large step in the lower lumbar region. Detailed neurological evaluation of the lower limbs did not reveal any sensory or motor deficit, neither did bowel or bladder involvement. Radiographic examination showed L5 over S1 traumatic spondyloptosis. CT scan revealed that neural canal was in normal width. MRI confirmed spondyloptosis of L5 over S1 without any compromise of the spinal canal and with normal-looking cauda. Concerning the delayed presentation and no neurological deficit, the patient was managed conservatively after thorough counsel. At 6 months, the patient returned to his work and at the latest follow-up (15 months) he was free from back pain. Conservative means of treatment can lead to satisfactory outcome, especially when the patient has delayed presentation.

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