140819 What causes Spondylolysis? By Rickey Dale Crain

140819 What causes Spondylolysis?

By Rickey Dale Crain

The commonest cause of spondylolisthesis is spondylolysis, and it is the cause of spondylolysis that is the subject of intense debate. Some people feel that it is an inherited defect of the pars interarticularis. In surveys of asymptomatic schoolchildren, spondylolysis is present in 4 to 6%. In certain racial groups like the Eskimos, the incidence is as high as 40%, suggesting a genetic factor. Spondylolysis has been reported in an infant, although it is rare before age 4. However, certain other observations point to a repetitive trauma etiology. Incidence goes up with age, and incidence is higher in children involved in certain kinds of sports like gymnastics, weight-lifting and football that put a lot of stress on the back. In gymnastics, the hyperextension position of the lumbar spine places excessive stress on the back, leading to stress fractures in the pars interarticularis. In an attempt to unify the two etiological theories, most physicians believe that most children with spondylolysis may be born with a “weak” pars interarticularis. Repeated stress with activities during the years of growth between 8 and 14 causes the “stress fracture” that leads on the spondylolysis.

NOTICE: The information presented is for your information only, and not a substitute for the medical advice of a qualified physician. The author nor the publisher will be responsible for any harm or injury resulting from interpretations of the materials in this article.

Rickey Dale Crain
IPF / WPC / AAU World Champion
York Barbell Hall of Fame / USPF Hall of Fame
3803 North Bryan Road
Shawnee, Oklahoma 74804 USA
EST. 1978

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