Spondylolysthesis and Spondylolysis
Spondylolysthesis and Spondylolysis are common causes of low back pain in adolescents.
What is Spondylolysis/Spondylisthesis?
- Common causes of low back pain in adolescents
- Spondylolysis is a stress fracture in the vertebrae of the low back
- Spondylolisthesis occurs when that stress fracture becomes weak and unable to maintain its position and the vertebra begins to shift
What Causes Spondylolysis/Spondylolisthesis?
- These injuries are common in adolescents who participate in activities that involve a great deal of low back extension such as football offensive linemen and gymnasts
What are the Symptoms of Spondylolysis/Spondylolisthesis?
- Varying degrees of low back pain, especially with extension
- Some patients may experience pain that shoots into their lower leg or buttocks.
- Pain that becomes progressively worse over time (back pain lasting longer than 2-3 weeks)
What Can I Do to Feel Better?
- Rest. Do not do things that cause pain.
- Ice for 15-20 minutes at a time will help decrease swelling and pain.
- Compression can be helpful to decrease swelling and pain.
When Should I See a Medical Professional?
- Back pain that lasts longer than 2-3 weeks.
- These injuries require a period of rest followed by specialized range of motion and strengthening exercises.
- If your child is complaining of back pain after activities, talk to your pediatrician or sports medicine specialist for further evaluation and treatment.
- If you are uncertain about the severity of the condition.