Spondylolysis (Pars Fracture)


This is a diagnosis that can cause pain in any area of the spine. It is most commonly seen in the lumbar (low back) area. Spondyloysis is actually a small fracture usually a stress fracture of a part of the vertebrae (back bone) called the pars interarticularis. This is why this diagnosis is also referred to as a “pars fracture.” It can be the result of microtrauma or a stress fracture.

The most common vertebra (back bone) that is affected is the last lumbar (L5). If left untreated, this condition can lead to spondylolisthesis (see spondylolisthesis.

Activities that can cause spondylolysis include but are not limited to the following:

  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Lacrosse
  • Dancing
  • Running
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Tennis
  • Workers performing repetitive or heavy lifting
  • Trauma
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