Children's Hospital Colorado
Spine Program

Spondylolysis

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What is spondylolysis?

Spondylolysis is a fracture (break) in one of the vertebrae (small bones) of the spine. It usually happens at the fourth or fifth lumbar vertebrae in the low back.

What causes pediatric spondylolysis?

Spondylolysis can be caused by both hereditary factors and physical activity. A child who is born with thin vertebral bones may be at higher risk for developing spondylolysis. In addition, a child who is active in sports such as diving, gymnastics, football or any sport that puts stress on the lower back may develop spondylolysis over time.

If spondylolysis is not diagnosed and treated early, it may develop into a condition known as spondylolisthesis.

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Get to know our pediatric experts.

Joyce Oleszek, MD

Joyce Oleszek, MD

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation - Pediatric, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Robin Peterson, PhD

Robin Peterson, PhD

Neuropsychology, Neuropsychology - Pediatric

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Sue Graham, PA-C

Sue Graham, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Jennifer Nance, NP

Jennifer Nance, NP

Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

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