Spinal instability is a biomechanical disorder and causative for many spinal disorders. Associated clinical pictures are
Instability of the spine usually develops due to age or due to existing spinal disorders such as herniated discs, existing malpositions, round or flat backs, growth disorders such as wedge vertebrae, hemivertebrae and other segmentation disorders, scolioses, Scheuermann's disease.
The diagnosis is made by orthopedic examination and by MRI, CT, and X-ray. Images in inclination and reclination can be used to demonstrate instability.
Instability can be classified as mild, moderate or severe. In the case of mild instability, there are usually no pathological changes, in the case of moderate instability, segmental degenerative changes already occur, and in the case of severe instability, segmental or multisegmental damage can be observed.
The aim of conservative treatment is to bring the uncontrolled movement within one or more movement segments under control. This can be achieved, for example, by targeted physiotherapy to build up muscles. In advanced stages (e.g., grade 4 spondylolisthesis), spinal instability may be treated surgically, especially if the back pain is unbearable.