What is Spondylolysis?
Spondylolysis occurs in three to six percent of the population
You may have Spondylolysis or Spondylolisthesis if you are suffering from low back pain. Spondylolysis is a defect in the bony ring comprising the spinal column. The majority of cases occur in the low back, low lumbar vertebrae L5. Spondylolysis can be asymptomatic, or it can be quite painful. When the condition is bilateral (occurs on both sides of the spine) it can cause a condition called Spondylolisthesis.
Age, sex, and genetics can also be risk factors. Males are more commonly affected by spondylolysis than women. Also individuals under the age of 26 are more likely affected and are commonly diagnosed by the age of 16.
Signs & Symptoms of Spondylolysis?
Pain with spondylolysis pain leads to reduced mobility and inactivity; resulting, in inactivity, weight gain, loss of bone density, and loss of muscle strength and flexibility of other areas of the body.
Serious Complications of Spondylolysis
- Cauda Equina Syndrome – a syndrome where the nerves at the bottom of the spinal cord are compressed by a mass; rare but can cause severe nerve problems
- Neck, mid back and low back pain
- Radiculopathy– a condition where one or more spinal nerves are compressed.
- Spinal Myelopathy– occurs when the spine is exposed to trauma i.e. spinal cord injury
- Spinal Stenosis – the spinal canal becomes narrow and the spinal cord becomes pinched; occurring in the neck or low back
Risk Factors For Spondylolysis
Usually caused by repetitive trauma i.e. strenuous sports such as football or soccer, your anatomy also plays a role. Spondylolysis has shown to have a higher occurrence in the following activities:
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