Spondylolysis and How We Treat It

Video Transcription:

I just saw a patient who has a really common spinal ailment called spondylolysis between the L5 and S1. And what that means is, is that there’s a bony area between the joint and it’s the upper joint or the bone in this portion, isn’t formed quite right. So there gives instability of movement between the five bone and your tailbone. The common problem again is call spondylolysis.

Patients get back pain, they get laying pain. A lot of patients will have flare ups where they have pain for two, three, four weeks, and then they go to therapy to conservative treatment and then their pain will subside, ease off.

And so we’re talking about what we can do with the patient like this who will work on being strong, doing physical therapy, maintaining an optimal weight, decreasing weight, working on stretching to try to take pressure off of this segment. In my case, I’m a spine surgeon, and at times patients pain will not improve with those treatment options and they’ll actually require surgery, and the surgery is to stabilize the L5 bone into the S1 bone.

The way we do that is with pedicle screws or large screws that go into the phone and connect with rods to bridge it, and to make that segment rigid so that we actually take that motion segment, bone disc bone joints out of the chain of the spine. And so the patient we just had seen would be more typical, two or three weeks of pain. We use medication, we do physical therapy, and that pain improves. And again in the rare case that patients somewhere down in the future may require surgical treatment, which again, is a spinal fusion.