Lateral bending differentiates early-stage spondylolysis from nonspecific low back pain in adolescents

Review written by Dr Sarah Haag info

Key Points

  1. The lateral bend test seems to differentiate early-stage spondylolysis from non-specific low back pain.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

The rate of spondylolysis in adolescents involved in sports is 3-4 times higher than in the general population. While the incidence of low back pain (LBP) in the general population is high, identifying pain that is the result of early-stage spondylolysis (ESS) is important so that appropriate interventions can be delivered. The goal of this study was to determine the most common motion-provoking characteristic of low back pain in adolescents with early-stage spondylolysis.

The rate of spondylolysis in adolescents involved in sports is 3-4 times higher than in the general population.
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If the patient’s low back pain is provoked with lateral bending (>3.5 on the numerical rating scale), the clinician should be more cautious about the presence of early-stage spondylolysis.

METHODS

Participants in this study were athletes ≤18 years of age who presented with acute LBP within one month of onset. Participants with radicular symptoms or clear spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis on plain radiograph were excluded. Six MRI images were obtained for

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