What is the pathophysiology of lumbar spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis?

Updated: Jul 08, 2020
  • Author: Beth B Froese, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Answer

Spondylolysis is a defect in the pars interarticularis that may or may not be accompanied by forward translation of one vertebra relative to another (spondylolisthesis). See the image below.

Axial computed tomography (CT) scan shows bilatera Axial computed tomography (CT) scan shows bilateral spondylolysis. Note elongation of the spinal canal at this level.

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