Lumbar spondylolisthesis

Lumbar spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis, commonly occurring in the lumbar area of the spine, is a condition where spinal discs have a tendency to slip. Isthmic spondylolisthesis is a common cause of back pain in children although few actually complain about the pain or symptoms. In a few cases, isthmic spondylolisthesis occurs for people in their thirties and forties. Back and leg pain are the most common symptoms. Spondylolisthesis can occur on one side of the spine (unilateral) or on both sides (bilateral).

Different causes of spondylolisthesis

Treatments are identical for the several recognised causes of slippage:

  1. Isthmic spondylolisthesis
    One vertebral body slips forward on another as a result of a small fracture (caused by stress) in a piece of bone that connects the two joints on the back side (the pars interarticularis) of the spinal segment. Most commonly occurs in the lower level of the back (lumbar).
  2. Degenerative spondylolisthesis
    This includes a secondary to long-standing degenerative arthrosis (degenerative disc disease and degeneration of the facet joints). With time, the facet joints age and lose function, allowing too much flexing, which results in one vertebral body slipping forward on the other. This slippage is known as degenerative spondylolisthesis. Common symptoms are weakness and pain in legs and back. More common for older people aged over 65 and also in women than men.
  3. Traumatic spondylolisthesis
    This can be caused by a fracture of the neural arch
  4. Pathologic spondylolisthesis
    This results from bone disease such as metastatic disease, tumour, osteoporosis, etc.

Grading of spondylolisthesis

Grading of spondylolisthesis

The spondylolisthesis can be graded according the different level of slippage of one vertebral body over another.

  • Grade one slippage is less than 25%
  • Grade two is 25-50%
  • Grade three is 50-75%
  • Grade four is greater than 75%.
How will the surgery be performed?

Spinal fusion surgery is performed to stop pain caused by spondylolisthesis, involving insertion of bone graft to an area of the spine to fuse the two vertebral elements. The graft might be taken either from the patient’s hip or might be a synthetic bone graft substitute.

Two types of spinal fusion surgery are offered at FV Hospital:

Posterior lumbar interbody fusion/transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF/TLIF) – the procedure is done from the back and concerns removing the disc between two vertebrae and inserting bone into the space created between the two vertebral bodies.

Posterolateral gutter fusion – this procedure is done via the back.

Spinal fusion surgery for spondylolisthesis is a very effective procedure but has a very long recovery period so the doctor may advise a six month waiting period to see if the back heals itself before recommending an operation.

What kind of anaesthesia will be needed?
General anaesthesia.
How long will surgery take?

A lengthy procedure, taking four to five hours depending on the level of spondylolisthesis.

Will I feel pain afterwards?
Slight pain, controlled by medication, dissipating within one month.
How long is recovery?

About eight nights in hospital are usually required depending on your condition after surgery. Activities should be limited for the first four to five weeks after surgery and full recovery may take up to three months.

Physiotherapy can usually begin between one and two weeks afterwards depending on the patient's condition. A detailed rehabilitation programme will be explained to you by our physical therapist, including performing daily exercises to recover the range of motion and strengthen weakened muscles.

Follow-up consultations with a doctor are recommended after one, three and six months.
Will there be bruising and swelling?
Some bruises and swelling, disappearing within a month depending on your condition.
Will I have to remove the stitches?
Stitches will be removed by the surgeon after two weeks

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Lumbar Spondylolisthesis Surgery

Lumbar Spondylolisthesis & Leisure Combo Package

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Ear & Leisure Combo Package

Are you searching for a safe, reliable and high-quality destination for your surgery or medical treatment but at the same time want to enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of a travel hotspot? Look no further! We have the most suitable packages for you right here in Vietnam!

We can offer you the most professional surgery/ treatment + relaxing leisure combo programs, in conjunction with Buffalo Tours, a leading and award-wining tour operator in Vietnam. Packages can also be tailor-made to your own special desires.

Please note that all of our packages & prices are estimates only and that durations can vary, depending on the timing of your admission, your surgery/treatment and your condition to fly back home. In some cases your doctor might restrict you from certain activities and the below package might not be suitable for you.

Below follows an example of a package:

  • Day 01
    Arrival, welcome and airport pick-up by Buffalo Tours Representative. Transfer to Renaissance Riverside Hotel 5* ( for check-in and rest.
    Overnight at Renaissance.
  • Day 02
    Transfer to FV Hospital for first consultation(s)/tests.
    After first consultation(s)/tests, transfer back to Renaissance, stay overnight.
  • Day 03-11
    Transfer to FV Hospital for hospitalisation and surgery.



  • Day 11-24
    Transfer from FV to Thao Dien Village ( Free time.
    Sightseeing and other activities can always be arranged upon doctor’s advice.



  • Day 25
    FV hospital for post-discharge consultation (after recommended days from doctor) and flight back home.

Lumbar Spondylolisthesis Surgery

  • Lumbar Spondylolisthesis (spinal fusion surgery): US$6,150

Note: This package includes a MRI scan, however if you bring a recent MRI that is deemed medically satisfactory we will not repeat this examination and the price of the package will be reduced with US$330.

The package includes:

  • Pre-operative Consultations and Tests
  • Hospitalisation
  • Surgical Procedure
  • Doctor Fees
  • Regular Treatment and Tests during hospitalisation
  • Physiotherapy
  • Discharge Treatment
  • Follow-up Consultation