Effect of sagittal imbalance on functional disability in patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis

Ramdas Maloth


Background: Deformity of spine in sagittal plane is a major cause of pain and disability among patients presenting with low back pain to spine clinic. We have studied the effect of spinal sagittal imbalance on functional disability in these patients.

Methods: Cross sectional observational study in 50 patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis of more than 45 years age group study done in period of1 years. Subjects underwent standing lateral radiographs of the spine in a relaxed position, facing forward, with their knees maximally extended and their arms raised horizontally forward resting on a support. 2 radiographic films are stitched at baseline using digital radiograph operating console (DROC) software.

Results: In our study out of 50 patients we observed female preponderance, female:male 3:1, degenerative spondylolisthesis more commonly involves L4-L5 level (46 patients). 58% of patients with severe degenerative spondylolisthesis. There is significant correlation between sagittal vertical axis (SVA) and severity (p=0.015) in both grade 1 and grade 2 DS, there is significant correlation between pi and functional disability (p=0.001 and 0.010 respectively) it is found that pelvic tilt with p=0.02 and sagittal vertical axis with p value 0.036 are the two most significant variables at the end of backward elimination analysis.

Conclusions: Sagittal imbalance is seen in degenerative spondylolisthesis which needs further evaluation with spinopelvic parameters. Pelvic incidence and sagittal vertebral axis are important determinants of functional disability in patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis. Individuals with high pelvic incidence and more lumbo pelvic kyphosis showed more functional disability compared to others.


Spondylolisthesis, Sagittal imbalance, Lumbar lordosis

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