J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2012 Dec; 56(4):283-91. PMID:23204572 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC3501915
To detail the presentation of a male adolescent competitive high-level soccer player with left sided low back pain that occurred while playing soccer. This case will outline the importance of early detection, risk of progression and management of active spondylolysis in adolescent athletes.
The patient initially presented to a chiropractic sport specialist with left sided low back pain (9/10 on numeric pain scale rating) while kicking soccer balls with his left leg of one month duration. He was initially diagnosed with mechanical low back pain and successfully treated for acute pain management including removal from sport specific training and competition, soft tissue therapy and advice to rest. The chief complaint returned however, when the athlete resumed training and competition. A plain film imaging report suggested only postural alterations in an otherwise normal study of the lumbar spine. Computed tomography images taken three months later revealed a fracture at the left L5 pars interarticularis.
The early detection of spondylolysis combined with an effective plan of management including rest and conservative therapy with a progressive return to play may allow competitive athletes to resume participation at an elite level.