Spondylolysis is any fracture in the lumbar spine.
It develops mainly in people participating in sports activities and in athletes. It is usually caused by the continuous and repeated moves of flexion and extension of the lumbar spine over time. Essentially, they are stress microfractures and they are accompanied by intense spinal pain.
Diagnosis is initially made radiologically, and at the following stage through bone scintigraphy. As a treatment, a conservative approach is usually recommended, through the application of a special orthopedic brace.
This is an abnormal shift, which exceeds the range of normal spinal movement. It manifests with backache and, if there is a concomitant pressure of neural tissue, it causes pain in the legs, while at the same time a rigidity of the affected area, muscle weakness or even numbness of the legs are noted. Body posture changes, bending forward giving an image of lordosis.
Spondylolisthesis develops mainly in women. It can be congenital (existing since birth), traumatic, degenerative – which is found in elderly women suffering from joint
diseases, such as osteoarthritis, following a fall or injury of the back – and pathological, e.g. in tumors of the spine.
Treatment of spondylolisthesis may vary with each the case, depending on the clinical image of diagnostic examinations (x-rays, MRI) and the treatment approach recommended by the attending physician. In many cases, a conservative treatment is recommended, using physiotherapy and a lumbar orthosis. In these cases, the orthosis is removed after six months and a definitive remission of the symptoms is achieved by 90%. When it comes to patients with severe symptoms which do not respond to conservative treatment, spondylolisthesis is treated surgically.
Spinal stenosis is the reduction of space in the spinal canal.
It is mainly caused by osteoarthritis of the spine, or in combination with disc herniations. This results to a compression and strangulation of neural elements (spinal cord-nerves). Patients feel pain in the extremities and lumbar rigidity. In more severe cases, where there is pressure of the spinal sac, there is numbness and a sense of prickling and burning, as well as loss of balance. If stenosis affects the cervix, then it is called cervical myelopathy, with symptoms in both the arms and the legs.
Moreover, prolonged standing, walking and weight lifting worsen the symptoms.
Patients feel the symptoms diminish through activities which bend or do not load the spine (such as being seated or in a reclined position), due to the decompression of the spinal canal. Diagnosis is made through history-taking, clinical examination, x-rays and a MRI or CT scan.
Usually, regarding people suffering from spinal stenosis, the company of ScoliosisSLC uses special, supporting orthoses for decompression. Thus a reduction of lordosis, less pain, the ability to stand, and a decrease of all negative symptoms are achieved.
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