Author(s): Kim HJ, Green DW
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Abstract PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Spondylolysis is a common cause for back pain in the adolescent athlete. Increased awareness of the presentation of this subset of patients can aid in optimal outcomes. This paper aims to review the typical presentation of spondylolysis in the adolescent with specific focus on the adolescent athlete. We review current controversies in diagnosis and management and aim to provide a thorough review to aid the pediatrician in making clinical decisions for this subset of patients. RECENT FINDINGS: The optimal algorithm for diagnostic imaging is controversial. Single positron emission computerized tomography can provide good sensitivity but poor specificity for spondylolysis. Computerized tomography can be useful as a follow-up exam to visualize the bony anatomy and osseous healing but has the concern of high radiation exposure. MRI may be a useful tool for diagnosis and follow-up examination, which may have significant advantages over traditional imaging techniques. Brace use is controversial and most likely functions as an adjunct for limiting motion to promote activity restrictions. SUMMARY: Spondylolysis in the adolescent athlete is a common problem. MRI is a good study for diagnosis, although further studies need to be done in order to show its advantages over traditional diagnostic methods. Brace wear is encouraged as a method for promoting activity modification, although its efficacy in promoting healing and success in treating spondylolysis is controversial.
This article was published in Curr Opin Pediatr
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation