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Spondylolysis is the degeneration or deficient development of the articulating part of the vertebrae. It occurs in 6% of the general population and occurs only in persons who are able to stand upright and walk, which is thought to be a causative factor. The condition is virtually nonexistent among newborns, but exists in 5% of 6 year olds. Spondylolysis is more common in persons who participate is sports such as diving, weight lifting, wrestling and gymnastics - activities that require repetitive hyperextension.

In combination with other factors, spondylolysis may permit forward slippage of one vertebra on the one below, producing a spondylolisthesis. This occurs most commonly at the last lumbar vertebra (L5) causing it to slip on the first sacral vertebra (S1).

Many young persons with spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis may have no symptoms. Persons often develop symptoms during the preadolescent growth spurt. Magnitude of symptoms does not always correlate with the severity of slip.

Many persons require no treatment for the condition. Persons with spondylolysis or low-grade spondylolisthesis may be managed conservatively without surgery. Skeletally immature persons with slippage greater that 30-50% are at increased risk for progression and are considered candidates for spinal fusion without delay.

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The Medifocus Guide on Spondylolisthesis provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:

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This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes: understands that consumers who are facing serious medical issues need access to credible, up-to-date medical information to help them make informed health-care decisions. That's why we've developed the MediFocus Guides...the most advanced and trustworthy patient research guides for over 200 chronic and life-threatening conditions. Each MediFocus Guide includes a detailed overview of the condition including information about diagnosis, treatment options, cutting-edge research, and new developments; excerpts of important journal articles from the current medical literature focusing on standard treatments and treatment options; a directory of leading authors and medical institutions who specialize in the treatment of the condition; and a listing of organizations and support groups where you can obtain additional information about the illness.

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