Conditions & Treatments
Spondylolysis - Stress Fracture of the Spine
Spondylolysis is a term to describe a stress fracture that occurs in the vertebrae of the lower spine. Vertebrae are the series of bones that make up your spine. Spondylolysis can result from excessive and repetitive forces during some sports.
Spondylolysis may not cause symptoms. It can cause pain that spreads throughout the lower back. Rest and back bracing can provide symptom relief. Spinal fusion surgery may be necessary if non-surgical treatments are ineffective or if your condition gets worse.
The lumbar area of your spine is located in your lower back. It forms the curve below your waist. Five large vertebrae make up the lumbar spine. Ligaments and muscles connect to the spinal column and provide stability and movement.
The back part of each vertebra arches to form the lamina. The lamina creates a roof-like cover over the back opening in each vertebra. The opening in the center of each vertebra forms the spinal canal. Your spinal cord and spinal nerves travel through the protective spinal canal.
Physical and occupational therapy usually follows spinal fusion surgery. Initially, your physical therapist will help you with bed mobility and sitting balance. Your physical therapist will also focus on exercises to promote walking. You may need to wear a back support or use an assistive device, such as a walker, until you are stronger. Your physical therapy exercises will progress to strengthening your back and abdominal muscles.
Your occupational therapist will teach you ways to perform simple daily tasks, such as dressing, bathing, and toileting, within the movement parameters that you have. Your therapists can recommend and issue durable medical equipment, including shower chairs or dressing devices, to allow you to perform self-care tasks as independently as possible.
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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.