What Is Grade One Retrolisthesis?

Retrolisthesis is a back condition in which one vertebra is pushed out of place, usually due to injury. A grade one retrolisthesis is the most minor kind.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.


Four different grades are used to measure the severity of a retrolisthesis. Grade one is the most minor, with the vertebra only slightly misaligned (up to 25 percent), while grade four is the worst, with the vertebra completely misaligned.


A blow to the spine can knock vertebrae out of alignment, causing retrolisthesis. The instability that results can press a vertebra further out of position, worsening the condition.


Because grade one retrolisthesis is a relatively minor condition, symptoms are usually mild. A patient may experience back instability or pain. In more severe cases, which can develop if the condition is not treated, spinal damage can occur.


For grade one retrolisthesis, nonsurgical treatment is usually possible. Physically realigning the vertebra should allow the condition to heal.


Surgery is rarely needed to correct grade one retrolisthesis. However, if the retrolisthesis poses a significant health risk, surgery may be used to realign the spine 1.