Comparison of the sacral table angles by progression stage of lumbar spondylolysis

  • Kazuhiro SugawaraEmail author
  • Noriyuki Iesato
  • Masaki Katayose
Original Article


Study design

Retrospective study.


The purpose of this study was to investigate sacral table angle (STA) values in early-stage spondylolysis.

Summary of background data

Several studies suggested that the STA of patients with L5 spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis was significantly lower than that of healthy controls. Separation of the pars interarticularis creates shear stress between the upper sacral end plate and L5 vertebra. This was considered the cause of low STA in patients with spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis. However, if a low STA value is obtained in the early stage of L5 spondylolysis, it suggests that low STA does not result in the remodeling of the sacral end plate.


Patients with L5 spondylolysis and those with low back pain without pars defect were retrospectively identified from a hospital database in 2014–2016. Pars defect of the spondylolysis was classified into three categories based on CT and MRI results: early, progressive, or terminal stage. The STA difference between groups was calculated using one-way analysis of variance and Scheffe F test, which were used for post hoc testing.


A total of 84 cases of L5 spondylolysis and 70 cases of low back pain were identified. No significant difference was found between the STAs of the early- or progressive-stage spondylolysis and the terminal-stage L5 spondylolysis and low back pain patients. The STA of the terminal-stage L5 spondylolysis was significantly lower than that of low back pain patients.


In conclusion, patients with early- or progressive-stage spondylolysis do not have low STA. Low STA is seen only in patients with terminal-stage spondylolysis, suggesting that low STA is associated with remodeling changes in response to shear force after onset of spondylolysis. STA value might not important as a prognostic parameter about development of the spondylolysis.

Level of evidence

Level IV.


Sacral table angle Spondylolysis Spondylolisthesis Computed tomography Sacrum 



This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

KS (none), NI (none), MK (none).

IRB approval

The present study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Obihiro Kyokai Hospital.


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Copyright information

© Scoliosis Research Society 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuhiro Sugawara
    • 1
    Email author
  • Noriyuki Iesato
    • 2
  • Masaki Katayose
    • 3
  1. 1.Medical CenterJapan Institute of Sports SciencesKita-ku CityJapan
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedic SurgerySapporo Medical UniversitySapporoJapan
  3. 3.Graduate School of Health ScienceSapporo Medical UniversitySapporoJapan

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