Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis Primary Care Clinicians' Role

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Although accreditation for this CE/CME activity has expired, and the posttest is no longer available, you can still read the full article.

Expires October 31, 2015

The most common causes of low back pain in adolescents, spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis can be tricky to diagnose. The primary care clinician plays a key role in optimal management so that full recovery, in most cases, is achieved.



CE/CME No: CR-1410

Earn credit by reading this article and successfully completing the posttest and evaluation. Successful completion is defined as a cumulative score of at least 70% correct.


• Identify risk factors for the development of spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis
• Discuss the differential diagnoses associated with low back pain
• Describe physical examination findings consistent with spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis
• List the imaging modalities that may be used to confirm these diagnoses and explain the indications for each
• Identify when a pediatric patient with low back pain should be referred to an orthopedic or neurologic specialist for further evaluation and treatment


Shannon P. More is a pediatric nurse practitioner in New York City. Rita Marie John is a Professor at the Columbia University School of Nursing in New York City. The authors have no significant financial relationships to disclose.


This program has been reviewed and is approved for a maximum of 1.0 hour of American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Category 1 CME credit by the Physician Assistant Review Panel. [NPs: Both ANCC and the AANP Certification Program recognize AAPA as an approved provider of Category 1 credit.] Approval is valid for one year from the issue date of October 2014.

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