Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis in Athletes
Lumbar spondylolysis is the most common pathology identified in adolescents with chronic back pain. A key component to the diagnosis and treatment of lumbar spondylolysis in our practice relies on CT stage classification. It is predictive of fracture union and yields important information about the pain mechanism. This in turn drives treatment. Early defects are best found on MRI with assessment for edema in the adjacent pars. Slippage is the long-term sequela to be avoided. Evidence has shown that the immature spine is more prone to slippage, and therefore routine surveillance is required. Before return to play, the athlete must complete a comprehensive rehabilitation protocol.
KeywordsSpondylolysis Pars defect Spondylolisthesis CT MRI Pediatric Athlete
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