The pathological anatomy of degenerative spondylolisthesis. A cadaver study

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). Sep-Oct 1980;5(5):412-8. doi: 10.1097/00007632-198009000-00004.


A variety of techniques were used to study the morbid anatomy of 19 spines demonstrating degenerative spondylolisthesis in order to define the precise changes which produce this lesion and its radiographic appearance. An association between this affliction and vascular disease is suggested. The studies indicate that the listhesis is basically a persistent rotary deformity and not a simple forward displacement. Furthermore, there is no construction of the neural canal at the site of the listhesis. These findings suggest that the myelographic defect and symptomatology arise from traction applied to the nerve root by the medially displaced pedicle.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Autopsy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc / pathology
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Spinal Osteophytosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Spondylolisthesis / diagnostic imaging
  • Spondylolisthesis / pathology*