Prevalence of Incidentally Detected Spondylolysis in Children

Boram Song, Sun Kyoung You, Jeong Eun Lee, So Mi Lee, Hyun Hae Cho

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1 Scopus citations


Purpose To assess the prevalence of incidentally detected lumbar spondylolysis in children. Materials and Methods We retrospectively reviewed the data of 809 patients under the age of 11 years (mean age, 7.0 ± 2.7 years; boys:girls = 479:330) who underwent abdominal and pelvic CT between March 2014 and December 2018. We recorded the presence, level, and laterality (unilateral or bilateral) of spondylolysis. Patients were divided into two groups based on the presence of spondylolysis: The spondylolysis (SP) and non-SP groups. Results In total, 21 cases of spondylolysis were detected in 20 patients (20/809, 2.5%). The mean age of the SP group was higher than that of the non-SP group (7.8 ± 1.8 vs. 6.9 ± 2.7 years, p > 0.05). The prevalence of spondylolysis in boys was higher than that in girls (15/479 [3.1%] vs. 5/330 [1.5%], p > 0.05). The prevalence of spondylolysis in school-age children (6-10 year olds) was higher than that in preschool-age children (0-5 year olds) (17/538 [3.2%] vs. 3/271 [1.1%], p > 0.05). L5 was the most common level of spondylolysis (76.2%); one 8-year-old boy had twolevel spondylolysis. One case of isthmic spondylolisthesis was detected in a 10-year-old boy (1/809, 0.1%). There were 11 unilateral spondylolysis cases (11/21, 52.4%). Conclusion In our study, the prevalence of spondylolysis in children under the age of 11 was 2.5%. The prevalence was higher in boys than in girls and in school-age than in preschool-age children, despite the lack of any statistically significant differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-137
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Korean Society of Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Korean Radiological Society. All right reserved.


  • Child
  • Computed Tomography, X-Ray
  • Prevalence
  • Spondylolysis


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