Spondylolysis can be caused by:
- A congenital defect in the spine (usually appears a few years after birth)
- Acute trauma to the back
- Chronic overextension (bending backwards) with or without sidebending of the back (common in certain sports and activities)
- Hamstring tightness or muscle imbalance
- Degenerative conditions of the spine
- Cerebral palsy —less common
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