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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 29-39

Spondylolysis and pars repair technique: A comprehensive literature review of the current concepts

Department of Spine Surgery, Ganga Hospital, 313, Mettupalayam Road, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Ajoy Prasad Shetty
Department of Spine Surgery, Ganga Hospital, 313, Mettupalayam Road, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ISJ.ISJ_65_20

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Spondylolysis is an important cause of low back pain in children and adolescents, especially in those involved in athletic activities. Spondylolysis is caused either by a fracture or by a defect in the pars inter-articularis and can be unilateral or bilateral. Among the various hypotheses regarding the etiopathogenesis of pars lysis, the occurrence of chronic micro-fractures secondary to repetitive extension and rotational stresses across pars remains the most convincing explanation to date. The majority of these patients remain asymptomatic. Imaging contributes to the staging and prognostication of the lesions, planning the line of management, and monitoring the response to treatment. Nonoperative treatment with activity restriction, braces, graded physiotherapy, and rehabilitation forms the cornerstone of management. Surgery is indicated in a specific cohort of patients whose symptoms persist despite an adequate conservative trial and includes spinal fusion and pars defect repair techniques. Patients who demonstrate good pain relief after diagnostic pars infiltration can be considered for pars repair. Patients aged ≤25 years, those with an athletic background, unilateral pathologies, and those without associated spondylolisthesis, instability, or disc degeneration are ideal candidates for pars repair. The overall outcome in spondylolysis is good, and 85% to 90% of athletes return to sports at 6 months following conservative or surgical line of treatment. In this current narrative review, we comprehensively discuss the etiology, patho-anatomy, natural history, clinical features, diagnostic modalities, and management of spondylolysis with special emphasis on direct repair techniques of pars.

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