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What Is Spondylolysis

Burdine & Brown Oct. 26, 2020

Spondylolysis is a unilateral or bilateral bony defect in the pars interarticular is (or isthmus) of the vertebra. The terms comes from the Greek words SPONDYLOS (vertebra) and LYSIS (defect). Leone, Ciafoni, Cerase, Magarelli, and Bonomo (2011) state that "Spondylosis can be asymptomatic or can be a cause for spine instability, back pain and radiculopathy" (Leone et al, p 683).

When this condition is present to a person who was recently a victim of an injury (whether job injury or an automobile accident injury), the doctor's knowledge of advanced imaging is of crucial importance. However if nerve root injury is also suspected, MRI is the imaging testing of choice.

If you've been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) or suspect you might have it, you may be in a lot of pain. Fortunately, treatment for this form of spinal arthritis has come a long way over the last few decades. Newer therapies often mean less inflammation, better-controlled symptoms and even a slower progression of the disease.

Ankylosing spondylitis is also known as Marie-Strumpell disease or Bechterew's disease. It's a form of inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects your spine. After several years, the bones in the spine, called vertebrae, may fuse together. When this happens, the spine becomes stiff and less flexible.

Living with AS can be challenging, especially if it's left untreated. As time goes on and the disease progresses, you might need to pass on certain plans or activities. You may not be able to sleep well. You could have a harder time in the weight room, in the yoga studio, on the athletic field—or even just keeping up with your kids. Sometimes, people with AS develop depression or anxiety.


What is AS: Mayo Clinic. (N.d.) “Ankylosing Spondylitis.”https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ankylosing-spondylitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354808