Current Trends in the Management of Lumbar Spine Injuries in Athletes
Lumbar spine injuries are prevalent among athletes and are likely to increase with the rising popularity of extreme sports. It is important for physicians to understand the basic anatomy of the lumbar spine along with the injury patterns that can occur with axial loading, hyperflexion and flexion-distraction forces. The majority of low back injuries in athletes are due to muscle strains and rarely need further treatment. Athletes that are subjected to repetitive hyperextension forces are at risk for spondylolysis with or without spondylolisthesis which requires further imaging to determine need for surgical intervention. Lumbar disk herniations are usually from axial forces and can be result in surgical emergencies, if they cause compression on the spinal cord or conus. Lumbar spine fractures can vary from stress fractures of the endplates to burst fractures or fracture-dislocations which require surgical intervention, if associated with neurologic deficit or instability. Similar to the management of cervical spine injuries, patients with a suspected lumbar injury should be evaluated systematically with full spine precautions and careful neurologic examination to determine need for transfer to higher care center.
Gallizzi MA, Kleeman LT, Blizzard DJ, Erickson MM. Current Trends in the Management of Lumbar Spine Injuries in Athletes. The Duke Orthop J 2015;5(1):63-67.
Blizzard, DJ; Gallizzi, MA; Kleeman, LT; Erickson, MM
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