Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)
An International Organization Dedicated to the Education, Research and Treatment of Spinal Deformity
Our Mission is to Foster Optimal Care for All Patients with Spinal Deformities
After approximately 8 years of age, certain patients begin to experience abnormal growth and development of this particular region in the bone. A genetic weakness to the bone has only been established in certain ethnic groups such as Alaskan Indians. It does appear that certain athletic activities or injuries (gymnastics, heavy weight
Stress reaction or injury may occur when the bone experiences excessive wear and tear from activities of daily living, sports, or a fall. The symptoms may include lumbar pain, stiffness, and hamstring muscle tightness. X-rays may not reveal any abnormality. A bone scan will demonstrate the inflammation in the pars. Treatment consists of relieving the pain and restoring spinal flexibility. After several months, the majority of patients resume most activities.
If the pars "cracks" or fractures, the condition is called Spondylolysis. The X-ray confirms the bony abnormality. Treatment is customized based on the severity of symptoms. Anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, brace wear, and activity modifications will be considered. Prior to a release to activities after the pain resolves, a course of truncal core muscle strengthening (pilates or yoga) may be prescribed to condition the muscles and minimize reinjury.
There are three stages of injury to the pars interarticularis: stress reaction, fracture (spondylolysis), and slippage (spondylolisthesis).