Retrolisthesis is the backward slide of one vertebra on the other. This slide occurs with disc degeneration or angulation. The vertebra cannot slide backwards without wear or stretch of the discs and facets. Normally, retrolisthesis is seen in cases of Scheuermann’s disorder (see website) but most commonly in cases of simple disc degeneration.
The retrolisthesis may or may not cause any symptoms and by itself does not need treatment unless it causes pain. Calf pain most likely is not caused by the retrolisthesis however back pain can originate from the degenerative changes.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.