A cover photo that talks about slipping the cervical vertebrae

Sliding vertebrae in the neck and a final treatment for neck pain

Sliding of the cervical vertebrae leads to pressure on the cervical marrow in the vertebral canal, and the patient has symptoms that may be serious, requiring treatment in the clinic or through surgery in Turkey.

Sliding of the cervical vertebrae causes many symptoms and may be very dangerous at one stage due to the possibility of causing quadriplegia, so treatment must be resorted to as quickly as possible.

An overview of slipped cervical vertebrae and its treatment

Spondylolisthesis puts pressure on the nerve structures in the spine and threatens their safety. In the event of permanent damage to them, in the event of non-treatment for a long time, the patient will have a permanent disability for life, hence the importance of speed in treatment.

Treatment in Turkey for cervical spondylosis includes modern and various non-surgical options, and for critical cases there are surgical operations at the hands of the most skilled surgeons and the best hospitals in Istanbul.

The mechanism of the sliding of the cervical vertebrae

The human spine consists of bony pieces lined up on top of each other, called a vertebra. The alignment of these vertebrae on top of each other is fixed and supported by ligaments and muscles so that they do not move from their place.

The alignment of the vertebrae on top of each other results in a bony tunnel called the vertebral canal, in which the spinal cord resides - from which the nerves responsible for sensation and movement in the trunk and limbs exit.

Each vertebrae is separated by a cartilaginous disc that facilitates movement and reduces friction between the vertebrae. This herniated disc may herniate from its place (Disc cervical disc) and causes symptoms similar to the symptoms of sliding of the vertebrae because of pressure on the spinal cord.

The occurrence of sliding in the vertebrae and the imbalance in their alignment on top of each other leads to a deformation of the shape of the tunnel containing the spinal cord (spinal cord) and pressure on it by the sliding vertebra.

This results in inflammation that starts at the place of compression and thus sensory and motor damage in a specific area of the body for which the affected nerve is responsible, which leads to the emergence of symptoms of slipped vertebrae.

The most common place for the occurrence of slipped vertebrae disease is Slipping in the lumbar vertebrae In the lower back, especially the fifth vertebra (the slip is between the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae), and the cervical spine is also common in the neck vertebrae, so symptoms often appear here in the upper extremities.

Causes of cervical spondylolisthesis

There are many causes of slipped cervical vertebrae, and based on the cause and severity of the condition, slipped cervical vertebrae are treated, including:

Vertebral degeneration:

It is the most common cause of slipping in the cervical vertebrae. It occurs as a result of advancing age, as the discs between the vertebrae lose their flexibility, dry out, and become unable to hold the cervical vertebrae in place, so they slip.

Stress fractures:

These fractures occur due to the constant pressure on the vertebrae with muscle tension, so they crack and form small fractures. Eventually, fracture and slippage of the vertebrae occur.

Diseases that weaken bones:

such as bone diseases or cancers such as bone cancers or metastases to the bones; This results in pathological fractures in the bones, and the neck vertebrae slip if these metastases go to the neck and settle in its vertebrae.

congenital anomalies

Some malformations of the bones cause the vertebrae to not be aligned properly and firmly in place, which puts a person at risk of developing cervical spondylosis.


Severe injuries of the cervical column lead to a dangerous slip in the neck vertebrae, which requires caution and caution in transferring the patient to the hospital and speed in repairing the slip and receiving treatment (car accidents for the person who drives the car are the most common examples of this type).


In rare cases, surgical interventions may cause problems, causing slippage in the neck vertebrae.

Symptoms of cervical spondylolisthesis

Symptoms of slipped cervical spine include:

  • Pain (pain) in the neck that may spread to the back of the head, shoulders and arms, especially when moving them
  • Difficulty moving the neck
  • Weakness in the arms and legs
  • Numbness and tingling in the hand and shoulder
  • Urinary and stool disturbances
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Inability to hold things firmly

Diagnosis of cervical spondylolisthesis

Initially, a slip in the cervical spine is suspected when the patient complains of the symptoms above, so the doctor examines the patient to direct the examination results for a slip in the cervical vertebrae.

At that time, the patient will be asked to do some imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis, such as an X-ray or MRI, which shows the presence of slippage and excludes other similar diseases.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the neck vertebrae
MRI showing slipped cervical vertebrae

Cervical spondylolisthesis treatment in Turkey

Slippage of the cervical vertebrae is treated at the beginning of the disease using non-surgical treatment methods, and the patient often recovers using them, but if the patient’s condition does not respond to the non-surgical treatment of slipped cervical vertebrae, then surgical treatment must be resorted to.

Non-surgical treatment of cervical spondylosis

Non-surgical treatment includes more than one treatment plan to improve and treat symptoms without exposing the patient to the risks of the operation, all of which are applied in Turkey, including:

  1. Changing bad habits: Putting the neck in uncomfortable positions for long periods aggravates the sliding of the cervical vertebrae, so these positions should be avoided, and the patient’s neck should be rested.
  2. Pain relievers: Among the most common are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, and we may use more potent analgesics, such as opioids in severe cases, to treat pain in the neck.
  3. PhysiotherapyPhysical therapy is one of the steps to treat slipped neck vertebrae without resorting to surgery. This treatment is based on some exercises that aim to straighten the neck vertebrae while tightening the muscles in them and thus improving the symptoms of slipping.
  4. Wearing a neck collar is used to treat slipped neck vertebrae by limiting their movement until the fractures heal or the patient’s slip improves, and it should not be worn for a very long time because this weakens the neck muscles.
  5. Local injections: Analgesics are injected into the place of pain to relieve or remove these pains and are sometimes the best treatment.
Image showing the neck collar used in the treatment of cervical spondylosis
Neck collar used in the treatment of slipped cervical vertebrae

Surgical treatment of cervical spondylolisthesis in Turkey

If the non-surgical treatment of spondylolisthesis did not work and the symptoms of slippage persisted in the patient despite the use of therapy by injecting painkillers, or if the patient wanted a final solution, Then you must resort to surgical treatment of spondylolisthesis.

There are some risks to these operations, but in the hands of the most skilled surgeons, the success rates are high and the improvement is very clear among patients. Contact us –We are Biaristan Medical CenterTo guide you to the most skilled surgeons in Turkey and the best hospitals in it.

Treatments for cervical spondylolisthesis include:

Decompression of the vertebrae

This operation involves removing the bony part or parts pressing on the nerves from the vertebra, thus liberating the nerve and relieving pressure on it, so the patient’s symptoms will go away, and pain, slippage, and other symptoms will improve.

Fusion of the neck vertebrae

The slip in the cervical spine is treated here, and the vertebrae are returned to their place in the spine, then fixed using metal pieces at the beginning so that the slip does not recur and the vertebrae become normal.

Then a bone graft is placed between the slipped vertebrae and the one followed by it. Its function is to create bony fusion between these two vertebrae, where bone material is formed between them with the same mechanism of fracture healing, and then the slip does not recur and the process of treating the slipped neck vertebrae is completed.

A radiograph showing the process of fixation of the vertebrae used in the treatment of slipped cervical vertebrae
Vertebral stabilization process used in the treatment of slipped neck vertebrae


  1. st. Elizabeth Healthcare
  2. Johns Hopkins
  3. braceability

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many treatment plans aimed at treating slipped neck vertebrae. Most do not include surgical procedures such as pain relievers, physical therapy, or wearing a cervical collar. If the patient does not improve on these treatments, we resort to slipping surgery to relieve shoulder and neck pain.

This is done by feeling distinct symptoms that occur when slipping in the cervical spine, and the most important symptoms are cervical pain, difficulty in moving the neck, numbness in the shoulder and hands, and difficulty holding things firmly.

If you are planning for treatment in Turkey
you can talk to us here.

If you are planning for treatment in Turkey
you can talk to us here.