A spondylolysis is simply a defect in the growth plate of the pedicle. This is the bone that connects the vertebra in front to the back of the spine. A spondylolysis is usually identified by x-ray, CT scan or MRI.

Spondylolysis is typically asymptomatic — it does not cause pain. What it can do is predispose you to a spondylolisthesis, which is a slippage of one vertebra over another. If you have an injury to your lower back, it may expose the defect to stress, which allows the vertebral body to slip forward. This might be painful, or surprisingly you may not feel anything.


There is no treatment

for a spondylolysis as they do not cause pain or impair any function. However, if the spondylolysis turns into a spondylolisthesis then this can cause issues. Please see our page regarding spondylolisthesis.