Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Orthopedic Teaching

Spine Case 5 Diagnosis

L5 Spondylolysis


Radiography of the lumbar spine is limited by its inability to detect stress reactions in the pars interarticularis that have not progressed to complete fracture.

If plain radiographs are negative or inconclusive, patients can be referred for MRI, CT, or single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) bone scintigraphy.