Spondylolisthesis grading system

Last revised by Dr Patrick J Rock on 16 Nov 2020

A commonly adopted method of grading the severity of spondylolisthesis is the Meyerding classification. It divides the superior endplate of the vertebra below into 4 quarters. The grade depends on the location of the posteroinferior corner of the vertebra above.

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

  • grade I: 0-25%
  • grade II: 26-50% 
  • grade III: 51-75% 
  • grade IV: 76-100%  
  • grade V (spondyloptosis): >100%

History and etymology

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

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: grading
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  • Case 1: grade I
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  • Case 2: grade II
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  • Case 3: grade III
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  • Case 4: grade IV
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