Meyerding classification of spondylolisthesis

Last revised by Henry Knipe on 19 May 2024

The Meyerding classification of spondylolisthesis grades the severity of the slip.

This classification was originally developed for anterolistheses but can be adapted for retrolistheses, and some publications have done so 3.

To determine the grade of spondylolisthesis using the Meyerding classification, two vertical lines are drawn along the posterior cortex superior and inferior vertebra, and a measurement is taken between them (A). The length of the inferior vertebral body is also measured (B). A calculation of A/B determines the grade 4:

  • grade I: 0-25%

  • grade II: 26-50% 

  • grade III: 51-75% 

  • grade IV: 76-100%  

  • grade V (spondyloptosis): >100%

The grades can be further grouped as 4:

  • "low-grade": grades 1 and 2

  • "high-grade": grades 3, 4 and 5

The grading system is named after its inventor, Henry W. Meyerding (1884 - 1969), an American orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA. He proposed the classification in an article in 1932 2.

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