Children's Hospital Colorado
Spine Program


Kids aren’t just mini adults. In fact, they’re incredibly different. That’s why they need incredibly different care.

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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.

Next steps

Get to know our pediatric experts.

Susan Apkon, MD

Susan Apkon, MD

Pediatric Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Stephanie Puma, PA-C

Stephanie Puma, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Chelsea Soucie, CPNP-PC

Chelsea Soucie, CPNP-PC

Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Nicholas Alfonso, MD

Nicholas Alfonso, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery


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