Research: Low Back Pain & Spondylolysis

This research evaluates whether the one-legged hyperextension test can assist in the clinical detection of active spondylolysis.

Title & Author

Use of the one-legged hyperextension test and magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis of active spondylolysis. 

Masci L, Pike J, Malara F, et al


These results suggest that there is a high rate of active spondylolysis in active athletes with low back pain. The one-legged hyperextension test is not useful in detecting active spondylolysis and should not be relied on to exclude the diagnosis. MRI is inferior to bone scintigraphy (with SPECT)/computed tomography. Bone scintigraphy (with SPECT) should remain the first-line investigation of active athletes with low back pain followed by limited computed tomography if bone scintigraphy is positive.

Lorenzo Masci
Sports Doctor
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