• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Spinal surgery saves teen swimmer’s mobility

August 6, 2017

patient Albert Mansour with Dr. Todd Milbrandt looking at spinal cord model
When the position of his spine unexpectedly changed, 13-year-old Albert Mansour was unable to walk without discomfort. Using a unique surgical approach, Mayo Clinic surgeons were able to successfully repair Albert's spine and relieve his pain.

When 13-year-old Albert Mansour first walked onto Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus in the fall of 2016, the steps he took were peculiar, painful and incompatible with the physique of the competitive swimmer he had been just a year earlier.

Albert, who lives with his family in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, walked bent-kneed and on his toes. His legs were angled awkwardly, and his lower back flattened to accommodate a lumbar vertebra that had slipped forward and down onto the vertebra directly beneath it. He had back pain and sciatica nerve pain. His nerves were stretched taunt by his condition, known as spondylolisthesis.

"Spondylolisthesis, overall, is fairly common," says Todd Milbrandt, M.D., in Mayo Clinic's Department of Orthopedic Surgery. "But the kind that Albert had, which was nearly a complete slippage of the fifth lumbar vertebra onto the first sacral vertebra, is relatively rare." Read the rest of the story. ___________________________________________________________

This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.