Our Approach to Treating


Physicians and surgeons at NYU Langone’s Spine Center provide specialized care for people with spondylolysis, a stress fracture or break in one of the bones that comprise the spine. For some people, the condition does not cause any symptoms; in others, it results in chronic low back pain. In some people with spondylolysis, the stress fracture causes a weakened vertebra to slip out of place, a condition called spondylolisthesis.

Dr. Elizabeth Barchi Examines Patient

Our Spine Center experts provide surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for spondylolysis, a condition that involves a stress fracture in the spine.

Spondylolysis is most common in children and teens who participate in athletic activities that require a lot of backward bending, such as gymnastics or pole vaulting. In adults, the condition may show symptoms with the development of back pain, leg pain, or both.

Our pediatric and adult specialists in orthopedics, neurology, and neurosurgery use advanced diagnostic tests to identify the location and severity of a fracture and offer comprehensive care to relieve pain and help you remain active.

Treatment for Spondylolysis

Most people find that nonsurgical treatment, such as physical therapy and over-the-counter pain medication, relieves lower back pain and improves mobility. If symptoms persist or worsen, your doctor may recommend surgery.

Our Research and Education in Spondylolysis

Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.