Spondylolysis/Pars Defect

Spondylolysis describes a defect or stress fracture in the Pars Interarticularis, which is a part of the bone that connects the Facet Joints in the spine (also referred to as pars defect) .

The most common level it is found is L5/S1.

Spondylolysis is a common cause of Spondylolisthesis (forward slippage of one spinal segment on the other).

What is the cause?

It is generally an overuse injury predominantly in adolescent athletes. It is most common in sports such as Cricket (bowlers) and gymnastics due to the constant hyperextension that the back is exposed to.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Unilateral or bilateral lower back pain
  • May feel like a muscle strain
  • Spinal stiffness
  • Spondylolosis and Spondylolisthesis may be present without any symptoms

What can we do about it?

The therapist’s at Elite Spinal Physiotherapy will assess you to identify how the spondylolysis is affecting you. They will also be able to refer you to the appropriate specialist if required.

A spinal decompression and core strengthening exercise program will be developed to help prevent any re-occurrence of symptoms and appropriate manual therapy will be used.

In most cases the spondylolysis cannot be reversed however the progression of the spondylolysis can be greatly reduced, so you can enjoy a pain free, active life for as long as possible.