Spondylolytic spondylolisthesis has been linked to certain high risk activities such as gymnastics, football, dancing, and playing cricket. I admit it that I have absolutely no clue when it comes to cricket having never seen a match! Now the root words of spondylolytic spondylolisthesis translate into burst and slipped vertebra. The origin of these injuries is thought to be the repetitive cycling of the spine through flexion and extension. Think of when you attempt to break a green stick, it takes many repetitions of bending it back and forth, back and forth until the stick snaps. The same scenario can play out in your spine and cause either a stress fracture or a complete fracture through the posterior arch of the vertebra.
In this episode we follow Jessica. She is a 17 year old student who just loves volleyball. She is on the team at school, and even belongs to several club teams in the area. When she is not on the court, she can be found in the weight room. She eats, sleeps, and dreams about volleyball. She has been training year round for the past 3 years to fulfill her dream of playing volleyball in college.
She began experiencing pretty severe lower back pain, she was quite limited in her mobility, in fact she was downright miserable. X-rays revealed that she had a fracture in her L5 affecting the pars interarticularis, and also a 3mm anterior slippage of the L5 vertebrae on the sacrum. A classic finding of spondylolytic spondylolisthesis! What followed was months of training which was focused on teaching her how to move and play with her spine in a lumbar neutral posture. Gone were her poor movement patterns that place her spine at risk of developing future injuries.