Causes and treatment of spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis in children

Spinal cord defects in children and adolescents after epidemic: Doctors explain causes and treatment

It’s been two years since the Covid-19 hit the world, including India. At this time everyone’s normal life is turned upside down. Patients prefer video consultations with doctors in face-to-face meetings, starting from work at home, and the onset of new and / or unusual health complications, Kovid-19 has brought its unwanted development, all kinds of uncomfortable. One such rather unusual health complication is the spread of spondylolysis in children. Children and adolescents are developing serious spinal deformities due to being at home and excessive use of smartphones, tablets and laptops. This is a warning to parents who ignore the early signs of spinal problems in their children, which can lead to serious complications later on. In this paragraph, Dr. Vidyadhara S, HOD & Consultant – Spinal Surgery, Spinal Care, Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road Explains the growing number of cases of spinal defects in children and how to manage them.

Thanks to the lack of body movement due to the Covid-19 day lockdown, while everyone was sitting in their room, children and adolescents suffered from spondylolysis. At home during online classes, children sit in awkward positions. Add to this the inactivity and lack of physical activity of these children, and conditions like spondylolysis keep their heads up.

Spondylolysis vs. spondylolisthesis

Spondylolysis is a spinal condition that causes severe pain. This happens when the connection to the spine is disrupted. In medical terms, spondylolysis is also called ‘purse defect’ because it affects the pars interarticularis bone which is a very small bone that joins two vertebrae. The primary cause of spondylolisthesis is the regular spinal stress or tension that we maintain for a long time without maintaining proper posture.

Also read: What are the different types of spondylitis?

Symptoms of spondylolysis

  • When spondylosis is not treated, it can lead to spondylolisthesis in the cervical spine. In contrast, spondylolisthesis not only breaks the bond between the tail of the spine and the spine but also enables the spine to slip a vertebra.
  • In other words, the vertebrae lose their instability and begin to move upwards on their own.
  • The structure of the spine is completely damaged.
  • Both medical conditions result in severe pain in the lower back and neck, as well as decreased sensation in the arms or thighs, hamstring and muscle strain in the lower back.

These symptoms of spinal cord injury require urgent treatment, especially in children. At the other end of the spectrum, people with spondylolisthesis may not even experience any symptoms. Symptoms can appear many years later. It may appear during X-ray procedures for any other disease.

Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis in children

According to Dr. Vidyadhara, they saw a huge increase in the number of spondylolisthesis in children in 2022. Children with the disease have been reported to be able to walk on their own. Here are some things parents should keep in mind:

Also read: Is it possible to treat spondylosis without surgery?

Spondylolysis in children

  • Children who experience spondylolisthesis may experience complications as a result in their adult life.
  • However, pain caused by this medical condition can be effectively treated with regular therapy and medication.
  • Caution should be exercised that children with this disease should exercise moderately and not overdo it.
  • Excessive exercise can increase joint pain. Surgery can be avoided on the advice of a doctor if the condition is not too severe.

Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis can cause psychological problems in children and adolescents. This is because acute pain can cause severe stress and emotional turmoil.

Conclusion

Now that the Covid-19 is declining, the kids have to go out again. They have to go back to school and play. They need to exercise and build their muscle strength. This will keep medical conditions like spondylosis and spondylolisthesis at bay, helping them to lead a normal life. Parents need to be strict about their children’s sitting and standing postures to make sure their spine posture is correct. These small things can prevent big complications in the future.

Image Credit – Fripic

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