Wiltse classification (spondylolisthesis)

Spondylolisthesis can be classified according to broad etiologies as described by Wiltse in 1981 1. Typically when reporting studies with spondylolisthesis the Wiltse type is merely stated without referring to its number, whereas the grade of spondylolisthesis is explicitly stated: e.g. "Grade 1 degenerative spondylolisthesis of L5 on S1" rather than "Grade 1, Type III spondylolisthesis".


  • type I (dysplastic/congenital): translation is secondary to an abnormal neural arch
  • type II (isthmic): translation is secondary to a lesion involving the pars interarticularis
    • subtype a (lytic): secondary to stress fracture, in most cases attributed to repeated extension and/or twisting motions
    • subtype b (elongated pars): result of multiple injury/healing events leading to elongation of the pars
    • subtype c (acute pars fracture): secondary to a single event and is rare
  • type III (degenerative): result of chronic instability and intersegmental degenerative changes
  • type IV (post-traumatic): fracture in a region other than the pars leading to slippage. 
  • type V (pathological): diffuse or local disease compromising the usual structural integrity that prevents slippage
  • type VI (iatrogenic)
Spinal trauma

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rID: 57534
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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