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Spondylolisthesis Hampers Daily Activities in Elderly Men

Last Updated: November 03, 2010.

Elderly men with spondylolisthesis do not suffer back pain more than men without the condition but do have more weakness in the lower extremities and difficulty carrying out daily activities, according to a study in the October issue of The Spine Journal.

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly men with spondylolisthesis do not suffer back pain more than men without the condition but do have more weakness in the lower extremities and difficulty carrying out daily activities, according to a study in the October issue of The Spine Journal.

Patrick J. Denard, M.D., of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and colleagues studied 300 elderly men (aged 65 or older) randomly drawn from the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men study who had undergone baseline spine radiographs and completed a baseline questionnaire.

The researchers found that back pain and moderate/severe back pain reports were similar for men with and without spondylolisthesis: 63 and 67 percent, respectively, for back pain (P = .46) and 41 and 38 percent, respectively, for moderate/severe back pain (P = .76). However, men with spondylolisthesis reported more radiculopathy (33 versus 22 percent; P = .06), paresthesias (18 versus 11 percent; P = .10), and weakness in the lower extremities (18 versus 9 percent; P = .02). Difficulty with daily activities was also significantly more common for men with spondylolisthesis than without, including difficulty walking two to three blocks, doing their own shopping, and getting in and out of a car.

"For the physician treating spondylolisthesis, it is important to monitor neurogenic symptoms and assess difficulties with activities of daily living that require lower extremity function," the authors conclude.

One author disclosed financial ties to DePuy.

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