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Disorders of the skeletal system : spondylolisthesis.

Newman, Philip.

Available online

About this work


Mr Philip Newman, Institute of Orthopaedics, lectures on spondylolisthesis, a disorder of the skeletal system. He describes the different types of lesion and the surgical treatments for them.



London : University of London Audio-Visual Centre, 1976.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image (26 min.) : sound, black and white.



Copyright note

University of London


This video is one of around 310 titles, originally broadcast on Channel 7 of the ILEA closed-circuit television network, given to Wellcome Trust from the University of London Audio-Visual Centre shortly after it closed in the late 1980s. Although some of these programmes might now seem rather out-dated, they probably represent the largest and most diversified body of medical video produced in any British university at this time, and give a comprehensive and fascinating view of the state of medical and surgical research and practice in the 1970s and 1980s, thus constituting a contemporary medical-historical archive of great interest. The lectures mostly take place in a small and intimate studio setting and are often face-to-face. The lecturers use a wide variety of resources to illustrate their points, including film clips, slides, graphs, animated diagrams, charts and tables as well as 3-dimensional models and display boards with movable pieces. Some of the lecturers are telegenic while some are clearly less comfortable about being recorded; all are experts in their field and show great enthusiasm to share both the latest research and the historical context of their specialist areas.


Segment 1 Mr Newman begins the lecture by explaining the term spondylolisthesis, showing an x-ray of the spinal disorder. Illustrations of affected vertebrae are seen and Newman describes the characteristics of the disorder. Tables show the three categories that lesions of the bony hook are divided into: facet deficiency, neural arch deficiency and bone deficiency. He runs through each category, describing symptoms and characteristics. He lists five groups of causes: congenital, spondylolytic, traumatic, degenerative and pathological. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:04:58:24 Length: 00:04:58:24

Segment 2 Newman explains that he will talk about the three most common groups in his lecture (congenital, spondylolytic and pathological). Illustrations of the three types are seen compared to an illustration of a normal spine. A graph shows onset of symptoms by age group, by sex and by signs of neurological abnormalities, and Newman also goes into more detail about the congenital group of patients. X-rays of the vertebrae of a 6-year-old and 14-year-old are seen. A photograph of a bony specimen is also seen, as well as further x-rays of sclerotic deficient lumbar-sacral joints. Newman also discusses the symptoms of the condition and shows photographs of characteristic spine shapes. Time start: 00:04:58:24 Time end: 00:10:17:06 Length: 00:05:18:07

Segment 3 Newman continues to discuss the characteristics of congenital spondylolisthesis. He describes pregnancies and labour in women who have the condition, saying that normally there are no foetal deaths or caesarean sections. Next, he addresses treatment, usually surgical. X-rays are seen and Newman describes the operative treatment to correct the condition. Photographs of before and after are seen. Newman next discusses the next most common group of patients - spondylolytic. He describes the common features of the group and shows x-rays. Time start: 00:10:17:06 Time end: 00:15:10:00 Length: 00:04:53:19

Segment 4 Newman describes a study of 800 skeletons, which showed that incidence of spondylolisthesis increased with age. He describes surgical treatment for the spondylolytic group and before and after x-rays are seen. X-rays of lesions that have healed after posterolateral fusion are seen. Next, Newman addresses the last most common group of patients - those with degenerative spondylolisthesis. He describes the condition and symptoms and shows x-rays of a typical case. Time start: 00:15:10:00 Time end: 00:20:25:22 Length: 00:05:15:22

Segment 5 Three bony specimens and a drawing of the lumbar area are seen. He discusses therapy and surgical treatment, which in this group is decompression. Five diagrams show the stages of the decompression operation. After this, he mentions that the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine has suggested new names for the patient groups. He ends the lecture by saying that the different types of lesions must be determined to make any treatment effective. Time start: 00:20:25:22 Time end: 00:25:45:09 Length: 00:05:19:12

Creator/production credits

Presented by Mr Philip Newman, Institute of Orthopaedics. Made by University of London Audio-Visual Centre. Produced by Michael Tomlinson.


  • English


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