Pars Fracture (Spondylolysis) and Spondylolisthesis

Dr Lee treats patients with pars fracture (spondylolysis) and/or spondylolisthesis.

Pars Fracture
Pars Fracture and Spondylolisthesis
Pars fracture, also known as spondylolysis or pars defect, is a stress fracture or break involving the small inter-connecting part of the lumbar spine. This condition is commonly seen in gymnast, dancers, athletes, cricket players and football players where a lot of stress is being placed on the pars. Some patients may not be aware they have spondylolysis (pars fracture) until they have x-ray taken of their back. Symptomatically, patients experience pain of the lower back, extending down through the buttocks and hamstrings.

Spondylolisthesis is also commonly known as slipped vertebra. Spondylolisthesis occurs when the pars defect results in failure to maintain spinal alignment and the vertebra slips forwards out of normal position and over other parts of the spine. When the slipped vertebra is severe, occasionally nerve roots can be stretched causing shooting pain down the back of the legs and into the foot. Numbness in the foot and weakness of the muscle supplied by the nerve may occur.

Dr Lee focuses on obtaining an accurate diagnosis before implementing treatment.

Most patients with spondylolysis and/or spondylolisthesis may improve without surgery. Dr Lee may suggest a non-operative treatment plan for your condition. A period of rest and avoiding participation in any sporting activities may be advised following acute pars fracture, allowing time for the fracture to heal. Similarly, patients with spondylolisthesis may get better following a treatment plan of physiotherapy and lifestyle changes. If non-operative treatment fails, then surgery may be required.

Dr Lee will discuss these treatment options with you during your consultation.

Surgical treatment for patients with spondylolysis may include repair of pars or spinal fusion.

Pars repair

Pars repair is performed when there is no slippage of the vertebrae. The procedure involves inserting a screw across the fracture. Bone grafting of the fracture may also be performed during the surgery to encourage healing.

Typically, surgical treatment of spondylolisthesis involves spinal fusion.

Spinal fusion

Spinal fusion is the joining of two or more spinal segments to prevent motion.

Multiple techniques exist for spinal fusion, these include:

  • Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)
  • Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion (OLIF)
  • Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (LLIF/XLIF)
  • Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
  • Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)

Dr Lee will discuss these treatment options with you if surgery is required.

Dr Lee has extensive experience performing spinal fusion surgery, and experience using the latest minimally invasive spinal surgery techniques. In addition, Dr Lee is also proficient with intraoperative navigation for spinal surgery.

Disclaimer

The medical conditions and treatments outlined on this website are of a general nature. Information given is not intended as specific medical advice pertaining to any given patient and should be seen as a broad guide only. You must not rely on the information provided on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other health care professionals. If you have any specific questions about a medical condition, please consult your health care professional or contact Dr Lee’s rooms for a consultation and advice.