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Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition that develops when a vertebra slips forward onto the bone beneath it. If left untreated, it can cause debilitating pain and permanent damage. Both non-invasive and surgical techniques are available to treat the condition and provide lasting pain relief.

The Procedure

Dr. Stieber may recommend spondylolisthesis surgery if the patient’s pain is disabling, interferes with daily activities, and has not responded to conservative treatment approaches. The main goal of the procedure is to relieve the discomfort, stabilize the spine, and increase function.

Spondylolisthesis Surgery

Dr. Stieber may then perform a laminectomy to relieve pressure on the nerves in the spinal column. This procedure involves removing part or all of the lamina, which is the bony roof of the vertebra. If the slipped vertebra results in a pinched nerve in the lower back, symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and pain that radiates down the back or legs may develop. By relieving pressure on the nerve root, Dr. Stieber can reduce this discomfort and improve function.

In order to treat spondylolisthesis, spinal fusion will be performed to permanently join the affected vertebrae together with bone grafts and eliminate movement between them. During surgery, Dr. Stieber will place small metal screws and rods in the spine to hold the vertebrae in place. With time, new bone will grow over the graft.

The procedure is done under general anesthesia. To begin, Dr. Stieber will stabilize the fractured portion of the vertebra using small wires or screws to prevent it from slipping forward. If the bone is very weak, he will use a bone graft to strengthen the area.


While this spinal fusion can sometimes be performed on an outpatient basis, a hospital stay of one to four days is required so our physicians and nurses can monitor your progress. During your stay, pain medication will be administered to ensure your comfort and you will be usually encouraged to walk the same day or the next day after surgery.

Almost all NYC patients can return home, though you may require additional assistance with daily tasks and basic care. For about six weeks after the procedure, it’s important to limit physical activity. Light walking and gentle, low-impact movements can speed recovery and ensure an optimal healing process.

Spondylolisthesis Surgery

After the procedure, you will begin physical therapy to improve muscle strength, increase flexibility, and further stabilize the spine. Routine follow-up appointments will occur every approximately three months at Dr. Stieber’s New York office to ensure that the fusion heals properly.

Most patients can resume their normal daily activities within four to twelve weeks after surgery. Dr. Stieber will provide you with personalized guidance throughout your recovery during your post-operative appointments.

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Dear Patients:

Our patients' health and safety is our number one priority. Our office continues to be open for all email, telephone, and online inquiries. You can call us at 646-916-3962 or contact us via email to schedule your virtual telemedicine or in-person visit. Our doctors will be holding regular office hours for virtual video consultations and follow-up visits that permit you to stay in the comfort of your own home, utilizing your computer, tablet, or mobile device.

Additionally, we will continue to see select patients in the office for consultation and follow-up visits, including preoperative and postoperative appointments. Our doctors continue to perform procedures in our private, free-standing surgery center that offers an array of outpatient surgical services to treat spinal issues such as acute back pain, disc herniations, sciatica, and pinched nerves in the back or neck. We are also able to offer clean and efficient on-site x-ray capabilities in our office.

Please know that we join our community in taking all advised precautions* to limit the spread of the Coronavirus and ensure the safety of patients and staff.

Call today to schedule a consultation and explore your options with the Spine Center at OrthoManhattan.

The following precautionary measures have been established to ensure the safest environment possible:

  • All patients are screened both prior to and on the day of their office appointment. Patients will not be permitted in the office and will be asked to reschedule their appointment if:
    • You or anyone in your household are experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, congestion, runny nose, or shortness of breath.
    • You have been in contact with anybody who has tested positive for coronavirus or have traveled (both domestically and internationally) within the last 14 days.
  • We have updated our patient and visitor policies:
    • Only a limited number of patients will be permitted on the office hour schedule.
    • No additional visitors or family members are allowed to accompany the patient during their office visit, unless the patient is in need of an aide or a translator
    • Infants, children, and adolescents are asked to stay home and will not be permitted to accompany the patient to their appointment.

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