...less medical jargon in a 'Quick Glance' format!
. . . Nonsurgical Treatment
Initial treatment for spondylolysis is always nonsurgical. The individual should take a break from the activities until symptoms go away, as they often do. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, may help reduce back pain.
Occasionally, a back brace and physical therapy may be recommended. In most cases, activities can be resumed gradually and there will be few complications or recurrences. Stretching and strengthening exercises for the back and abdominal muscles can help prevent future recurrences of pain.
Periodic X-rays will show whether the vertebra is changing position.
. . . Surgical Treatment
Surgery may be needed if slippage progressively worsens or if back pain does not respond to nonsurgical treatment and begins to interfere with activities of daily living. A spinal fusion is performed between the lumbar vertebra and the sacrum. Sometimes, an internal brace of screws and rods is used to hold together the vertebra as the fusion.
Conservative treatment — rest, medication, exercise, and bracing — is often successful at relieving pain and swelling, especially when treatment is started early. About 73 percent of people have a significant reduction in pain and can return to normal activities following early treatment of spondylolysis.
Although spondylolysis might not be preventable, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of fractures. Seek medical attention if you suffer a back injury or have significant low-back pain. Early treatment of spondylolysis often results in the best outcomes. Keeping your back and abdominal muscles strong can help support the lower back and prevent future stress fractures. If you have spondylolysis, it is important to choose activities and sports that do not place your lower back at risk for injury. Swimming and biking are possible options.