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Spondylolisthesis is a common cause of low back pain in younger athletes.  It is a stress fracture that weakens the bone so much that it is unable to maintain proper position in the spine, which can cause  the vertebra to shift or slip out of place.   Spondylolisthesis is typically categorized as either low grade or high grade, depending upon the amount of slippage.  A high-grade slip occurs when more than 50 percent of the width of the fractured vertebra slips forward on the vertebra below it.  These patients are more likely to experience significant pain and nerve injury and will need to have surgery to relieve their symptoms.  Patients with low-grade are advised to rest, and may be prescribed medication, bracing or physical therapy

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