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Lumbar Spondylolysis Rate Is 6 Percent in Japanese

Last Updated: October 16, 2009.

The incidence of lumbar spondylolysis, a crack in the lumbar vertebrae often caused by repeated stress, is about 6 percent in the Japanese, according to a study in the Oct. 1 issue of Spine.

FRIDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of lumbar spondylolysis, a crack in the lumbar vertebrae often caused by repeated stress, is about 6 percent in the Japanese, according to a study in the Oct. 1 issue of Spine.

Toshinori Sakai, M.D., and colleagues from the University of Tokushima Graduate School in Japan determined the incidence of lumbar spondylolysis among 2,000 Japanese adults who had undergone abdominal and pelvic computed tomography for reasons unrelated to lower back pain.

The researchers found that 117 individuals (5.9 percent) had lumbar spondylolysis, and that the incidence was higher in males than in females (7.9 versus 3.9 percent). Multiple-level spondylolysis was present in 0.3 percent of adults. Of the 124 vertebrae with spondylolysis, 90.3 percent corresponded to L5. Spina bifida occulta in the lumbosacral region was present in 154 individuals (7.7 percent), and the incidence of spondylolysis was significantly higher in patients with spina bifida occulta (16.2 versus 5.0 percent; odds ratio, 3.7). Spondylolisthesis was far more common in adults with bilateral spondylolysis compared with unilateral spondylolysis (74.5 versus 7.7 percent).

"As shown in this study, the true incidence of spondylolysis was estimated," Sakai and colleagues conclude. "Thus, for other races, the true incidence can also be determined using our method."

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