Also known as: Spondylolysis, Spondylolisthesis
What are Spinal Infections?
When a teen athlete has lower back pain, the most common causes are spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis.
- Spondylolysis - This condition involves a stress fracture in a vertebra in the lower spine.
- Spondylolisthesis - This condition is the progression of spondylolitis. The small fracture weakens the bone, causing the vertebra to shift out of place.
Causes, Incidence and Risk Factors
- Some children are born with a congenital predisposition to develop these conditions.
- For others, it is caused by stress to the spine caused by sports such as gymnastics, dance, weight lifting and football.
- The most common symptom is pain that spreads across the lower back.
- Pain may feel like muscle strain.
Diagnosis and Tests
Spinal infections are usually diagnosed following:
- X-ray of the lower back
- An MRI or CT scan
- EOS Scan
Treatment of Spinal Infections
- Taking time off from sports activities to allow healing to occur.
- Use Ibuprofen to reduce pain.
- Use of a back brace, if recommended.
- Stretching and strengthening exercise may help prevent reoccurrence.
- Orthopedic surgery may be needed if vertebra continue to slip and does not respond to nonsurgical care.
Reviewed by: Stephen Graham George Jr., MD
This page was last updated on: 6/21/2019 2:16:12 AM