Spondylolysis
 

Your doctor may suggest that you wear a back brace. This will help relieve pain. About 4-6 weeks of bracing may be needed. The brace should limit extension of the lower (lumbar) spine.
To relieve the pain and prevent recurrences, a physical therapist can teach you:

  • Exercises to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles, which stabilize the spine
  • Proper exercise and sports techniques to help prevent overuse and further injury
  • Hamstring stretches (very important)
The doctor may give you medications for pain relief.
Surgery may be needed if:
  • There is injury to the nerve
  • There is high-grade spondylolisthesis (more than 50% slippage)
  • Medication, rest, activity modification, and physical therapy don't relieve the pain

Two procedures are usually needed:

  • Decompressive laminectomy — removal of excess bone and tissue that is putting pressure on the spinal nerves
  • Spinal fusion—fusing together of the two involved vertebrae to prevent further slippage of the vertebra

Prevention
To reduce your risk of getting spondylolysis:

  • Limit participation in certain sports to a reasonable amount. This will help prevent overuse injury.
  • Keep the abdominal and back muscles strong and the hamstring muscles supple.
  • Use proper equipment for your sport.
  • Warm up properly before exercising or playing sports.
  • Learn proper techniques for exercise and athletic activities.
  • Seek medical care for chronic back pain. Early vertebral stress fractures, particularly in adolescents and young adults, may heal with rest.
 

 

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