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Spine and Back Health

Spondylysis

05/29/2008

Question:

What is spondylysis? What are the investigations done? What is the treatment needed?

Answer:

Hello, thank you for your question. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what you're asking, because there are two different words that are very similar, neither of which exactly match your spelling. "Spondylosis" is a fancy word for the type of degenerative changes that happen to everybody's spine as we age. It refers to discs wearing out, arthritis, bone spurs, or any combination of the above. Spondylosis is present in a large portion of the general population of the world, and what needs to be done about it depends entirely on the patient's symptoms. The other word is "Spondylolysis" (note the extra "ly" in it) which is a very rare condition also known as a "pars defect". I'm guessing you're not talking about that. Once again, though, the necessary investigations and/or treatment depend entirely on what the patient's symptoms are. I hope this provides a few answers. Good luck.

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Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University