Stress fractures in the spine and sacrum

Clin Sports Med. 2006 Jan;25(1):75-88, ix. doi: 10.1016/j.csm.2005.08.001.


Stress fractures of the pars, pedicle, and sacrum are important considerations in the differential diagnosis of lower back pain in the child or adolescent athlete. A thorough history and physical examination as well as a high index of suspicion are essential when assessing a patient with lower back pain. Diagnostic imaging, including radiographs, bone scans, CT scans, and other imaging modalities are important for further narrowing the diagnosis. The early identification and proper management of stress fractures of the pars, pedicle, and sacrum are integral in the prevention of stress fractures in the adolescent athlete population. This article reviews current concepts in the assessment and management of stress fractures of the lumbosacral spine, particularly of the pars (spondylolysis), pedicles, and sacrum.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / complications
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Fractures, Stress / complications
  • Fractures, Stress / diagnosis*
  • Fractures, Stress / physiopathology
  • Fractures, Stress / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / etiology
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / injuries
  • Male
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Risk Factors
  • Sacrum / injuries
  • Spinal Injuries / complications
  • Spinal Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Injuries / physiopathology
  • Spinal Injuries / therapy*
  • Spondylolysis / complications
  • Spondylolysis / diagnosis
  • Spondylolysis / therapy
  • Sports Medicine / methods