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The natural history of asymptomatic spondylolysis found incidentally on pain radiographs is generally favorable, even with continuation of athletic activity. As indicated earlier, spondylolisthesis is uncommon. Significant progression of a slip is also relatively unusual, even in young athletes, although this risk is, in part, age dependent. If an athlete between the ages of 8 and 13 years comes to the physician with a symptomatic spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis, careful observation is necessary because progression of a slip is more common in this age group, particularly during the growth spurt.¹
¹Garfin MD, Steven. Orthopaedic Knowledge Update : Spine. Rosemont: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 1997.