Spondylolysis
 

Risks
Factors that increase the chance of spondylolysis:

  • Playing sports such as:
    • Gymnastics
    • Football, especially the offensive line
    • Diving
    • Wrestling
    • Weightlifting
  • Improper athletic or exercise technique
  • Adolescent growth spurt

Symptoms
Symptoms may include:

  • Pain across the lower back
  • Spasms in the back and hamstring muscles
  • Pain radiating down the leg
Many people have no symptoms at all.

Diagnosis
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Tests may include:

  • X-rays —a test that uses radiation to take a picture of the spine to look for defects and/or fractures
  • CT scan —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of bony structures inside the back
  • Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)—a very sensitive test
  • MRI scan —a test that uses a very strong magnetic field and radio waves to make pictures of both soft tissue and bony structures inside the back

Treatment
If you have no symptoms, no treatment is needed.
If you have symptoms, treatment may include:
Do not do athletic activities for several weeks to several months. In general, this restriction should last until the symptoms are gone.

 

 

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