Lumbar stress fractures

Introduction

Lumbar stress fractures are a common cause of lower back pain in adolescence. Up to 30% of athletes between 11—17 years may have lower back pain, and a high index of suspicion for stress fracture should be maintained in this age group.

Aetiology

Lumbar stress fractures occur due to an overload of the pars interarticularis region. The L5 level is most commonly involved. Symptoms occur commonly in adolescence, and generally relate to exercise that involves extension and/or rotation.

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