Contralateral Spondylolysis and Fracture of the Lumbar Pedicle in an Elite Female Gymnast: A Case Report

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Study Design.The case of an elite female gymnast whose pathology started in her 12th year and whose evolution has been exceptional is reported.Objective.To present a fracture of the right lumbar pedicle showing complete spontaneous consolidation despite gymnastic practice 15 hours a week.Summary of Background Data.Lumbar pain, which has an incidence of approximately 75% among young athletes, often results from diseases of the posterior arch of vertebrae in gymnasts, including spondylolysis. The association between unilateral spondylolysis and fracture of the contralateral lumbar pedicle in young athletes is poorly described.Methods.An elite young female gymnast underwent clinical examination and lumbar radiographs (as systematically required by the French Federation for high-level gymnasts) from 1994 to 1997 to join a sports program in gymnastics.Results.Clinical examination and lumbar radiographs systematically required of an asymptomatic female gymnast allowed the condensation of the right pedicle to be observed before lysis of the left isthmus of L5 in 1994, unilateral lysis of the left isthmus of L5 in 1995, a right pedicular fracture of L5 in 1996, and healing of the pedicular fracture in 1997.Conclusion.Inconsistency between radiographs and clinical observations can be noted, and spontaneous consolidation of pedicular fractures can occur despite the practice of the gymnastics 15 hours a week.

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