A study of spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis in 142 children and adolescents is reported. In twelve of the seventy-nine patients followed for over a year the affected vertebra slipped further by 10 per cent or more. Increasing slip occurred mainly during the adolescent growth spurt, and was greater when spinal bifida or other vertebral anomalies were present. If at presentation the slip is less than 30 per cent then further slip beyond 30 per cent is unlikely. Decompression posteriorly is advised when signs of nerve pressure are present. Indications for spinal fusion are suggested; the intertransverse method of fusion was used in sixty-nine patients.
- © 1977 British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery