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Spondylolysis - Introduction

Spondylolysis is a cause of back pain in young people. It is known as a ‘stress’ fracture, and like many sports stress fractures it usually heals to become symptom free.

Who gets it?

The diagnosis of a spondylolysis should be thought about in back pain that occurs after strenuous sports on a consistent basis. Young gymnasts and young athletes involved in ‘throwing’ sports are most commonly affected. On the positive side it seems more common in elite athletes.

What causes it?

It is a stress fracture that occurs at the ‘pars inter-articularis’ which is a part of the back of the spinal bone, or the neural arch. It is not a serious structural fracture and so normal activities can continue.
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