Hysterical conversion paralysis in an adolescent boy with lumbar spondylolysis

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We describe a case of recurrent hysterical paralysis triggered by low back pain because of lumbar spondylolysis. A 16-year-old male soccer player was referred to our institution with five previous episodes of acute paralysis triggered by severe low back pain. We performed direct surgical repair of the terminal-stage bilateral spondylolysis at L4 using a hook-rod system. His chronic low back pain was completely resolved, and no further episodes of hysterical paralysis have occurred after surgery. Spine surgeons should be aware of possible hysterical conversion paralysis when there is discrepancy between radiological and neurological findings.

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