The term retrolisthesis (more rarely the synonyms retrospondylolisthesis or posterolisthesis) refers to posterior displacement of a vertebral body relative to one below.


Causes include:

  • trauma
  • facet joint osteoarthritis
  • congenital anomalies: e.g. pedicle underdevelopment

Radiographic features

Lateral spinal radiographs are able to characterize spinal alignment, including the presence of retrolisthesis. MRI has a role in assessing any consequent neurological compression, including foraminal stenosis.

Spinal trauma

Article information

rID: 20119
Section: Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Retrospondylolistheses
  • Posterolistheses
  • Retrolistheses
  • Posterolisthesis
  • Retrospondylolisthesis
  • Backward slip
  • Posterior slippage
  • Posterior slip

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: L2/3 retrolisthesis
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