With more children participating in sports every year, Spondylolisthesis is becoming more commonly diagnosed among youth.
Stretching for thirty minutes before participating in sports in growing children can prevent injury.
Spondylolisthesis is an overuse injury in children and is caused by frequent hyperextension of the lower back. It is becoming more common among children who play sports such as gymnastics, football or wrestling. Overuse injuries in children who play sports are on the rise. Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one of the bones of the spine (vertebrae) slips out of place and off in front of the vertebra below it. If it slips too much, the bone can press on a nerve causing pain. Severe pressure on the nerves may also cause bladder dysfunction. Usually the bones of the lower back are affected.
Spondylolisthesis is a not uncommon cause of back pain in teens, who often begin showing symptoms during the teenage growth spurt. Overuse in sports that strain on the lower back can contribute to the condition. Warm up and stretching, especially during the growing years, is vitally important. The physicians at Medical City Children’s Orthopedic and Spine Specialists take care of all types of sports-related injuries including Spondylolisthesis. In case of an injury, we can see your child right away. You never have to wait long for an appointment. With convenient locations in Dallas, Frisco and McKinney, we are never far away.
Oftentimes people with spondylolisthesis are non-symptomatic and don’t even know they have the condition. When symptoms do occur, the most common one is low back pain which often spreads across the lower back and might feel like a muscle strain. Spondylolisthesis can also cause muscle spasms in the hamstring muscles in the back of the thighs. Tight hamstrings can cause a child to walk with short strides and with the knees slightly bent. If the slipped vertebra is pressing on a nerve, pain might spread down the leg to the foot. The foot might also tingle and/or feel numb.
An X-ray of the lower back can show a vertebra out of place; however, the more detailed images of a computed tomography (CT) scan or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may be needed to more clearly see the bones and nerves involved.
Spondylolisthesis is becoming more common among teenagers
“With spondylolisthesis, when the vertebra slips before the age of ten, it is more likely to be a big slip as teenagers. At Medical City Children’s Orthopedic and Spine Specialists, our board-certified physicians are especially trained in spinal injuries and specifically treat children and adolescents, so we understand the complexities of growth plates for children’s growing bones.” Shyam Kishan, MD
Treatment for spondylolisthesis depends on several factors, including the age and overall health of the child, the extent of the slippage, and the severity of the symptoms. Treatment is most often conservative. More severe spondylolisthesis may require surgery.
Surgery – A surgical option may be necessary if the vertebra continues to slip or if the pain is not relieved by conservative treatment. Through surgery, we are able to stabilize the spine where the vertebra has slipped out of place and relieve the pain associated with an irritated nerve—all of which increases the person’s ability to function.
Call 214-556-0590 to make an appointment.
Comprehensive services for children from birth through adolescence at three convenient locations: Dallas, Frisco and McKinney.