Rest Before Physical Therapy in Adolescents With Active Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis

Rest Before Physical Therapy in Adolescents With Active Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis.

Sponsors

Lead Sponsor: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Source Nationwide Children's Hospital
Brief Summary

This is a retrospective chart review with a short follow-up phone questionnaire for our patients who have been treated by Nationwide Children's Hospital physical therapy and sports medicine for a spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis injury. Currently, no research exists to guide referral for safe physical therapy rehabilitation for patients with spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis injuries. By performing this retrospective study the investigators can gain information to better guide physical therapy referral time. This may also serve as foundation for a future prospective randomized trial. Currently, Nationwide Children Hospital physicians vary from immediate referral to physical therapy to 3 + months of rest prior to beginning therapy. By performing a retrospective chart review assessing time to referral to therapy and patient outcomes the investigator can gain some guidance for when it is safe to prescribe physical therapy rehabilitation for patients with spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis injuries. Patients with an active spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis injury who are referred to physical therapy early will return to activity/sport sooner without increased risk of adverse reaction.

Detailed Description

Spondylolysis is as stress fracture in the pars interarticularis of the vertebral arch most commonly occurring in the lower lumbar spine. Spondylolisthesis is the forward displacement of a vertebra, especially the fifth lumbar vertebra, most commonly occurring after a break or fracture. These injuries to the spine are extremely common in adolescent athletes and some research reports that spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis account for over 40% of all adolescent athletes' low back pain. While these injuries are common in the adolescent population there is very little research to guide treatment of these patients, particularly with rehabilitation. Conservative standard of care with the treatment of spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis injuries are to rest from sport, brace the lumbar spine, and begin physical therapy and return to sport as the patient is able. There is some evidence to show that patients should rest for 12 weeks prior to returning to sport, otherwise there is an increased risk of injury (El Rassi, 2013). There currently is no research to suggest when to begin physical therapy. Physical therapy for rehabilitation and return to sport is a part of standard of care, but recommendations for beginning therapy vary widely and are not supported by evidence. A concern for beginning physical therapy too soon is that the fracture will not have adequate time to heal and re-injury can occur. While a concern for waiting too long to begin therapy is increased muscle atrophy, high fear avoidance beliefs, and unnecessarily long avoidance of activity. Currently, Nationwide Children Hospital physician's vary from immediate referral to physical therapy to 3 + months of rest prior to beginning therapy. By performing a retrospective chart review assessing time to referral to therapy and patient outcomes we can gain some guidance for when it is safe to prescribe physical therapy rehabilitation for patients with spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis injuries. Currently, no research exists to guide referral for safe physical therapy rehabilitation for patients with spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis injuries. By performing this retrospective study we can gain information to better guide physical therapy referral time. This may also serve as foundation for a future prospective randomized trial. The are two primary objectives of this study: (1) Does time to referral to physical therapy affect time to full return to activity. (2) To assess the safety of an early referral to therapy compared with a long rest period prior to therapy. Safety will be determined by relative risk of adverse reaction and percent of patients able to fully return to activity. Secondary objectives include: Assessing pain with early and later referral to therapy. Number of physician visits Number of physical therapy visits Compliance We will perform a chart review of all spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis patients who have been treated by Nationwide Children's Hospital Sports Medicine physicians and physical therapists since 12/2009 when electronic charting on these patients began. As we are unable to track the outcomes for this study of those patients referred to outside physical therapy, they will be excluded from the study. The chart review will begin by running a report for all patients with a spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis diagnosis from 2009 to 2013. Variables that will be automatically pulled in the report will be: Age at time of diagnosis Gender Treating physician Pain Compliance Sports Played **Any missing variable from the report will be gathered by reviewing the patients chart.** Variables that will be gathered from reviewing the patients chart Diagnosis Level of injury Type of imaging Brace Results of imaging Rest before Physical Therapy Rest before cleared for return to sport Treating physical therapist Number of physical therapy visits Number of physician visits Variables that will be gathered in a short follow-up survey by contacting the patients. Patients will be contacted by phone, or mail. Recurrence of symptoms Michelli Function Score Modified Odom's criteria Current level of sport participation Patients will be divided into 2 groups: Early referral to therapy and late referral to therapy by physician. To account for the fact that patients who are referred to physical therapy sooner may have a less severe injury we will be sub-grouping patients by physician. Patients of a physician with a median referral rate < 10 weeks to therapy will be sub-grouped into Early referral to therapy and patients of a physician with a median referral time >10 weeks will be sub-grouped into Late referral to therapy. To account for possible changes in the way a particular physician treats their patients with a spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis physician referral rate will be assessed yearly and patient grouped based on that calendar year referral rate. For example if a doctor has a median referral rate of 12 weeks to therapy in 2009, but 9 weeks in 2010, their 2010 patients will be placed into the late referral to therapy while there 2010 patients will be placed into the early referral group. Data Analysis To assess the first primary object we will assess if there is a between group difference (early vs late referral to PT) for time to return sport. We will assess between group differences using a t-test if the data are parametric and a Mann-Whitney U test if the data are nonparametric. To assess the safety of an early referral to therapy compared with a long rest period prior to therapy. We will examine the relative risk between groups for experiencing a significant recurrence of symptoms. Secondary Outcomes for the following variables will be assessed by t-test (parametric) or Mann-Whitney U (nonparametric) for continuous data and chi-square analysis for categorical data. Pain - PT visits - physician visits Michelli Function Score Compliance Descriptive statistics will be reported for all other variables

Overall Status Active, not recruiting
Start Date 2015-01-01
Completion Date 2021-12-01
Primary Completion Date 2021-12-01
Study Type Observational
Primary Outcome
Measure Time Frame
Rest before cleared for return to sport Time to event (up to 52 weeks)
Significant recurrence of symptoms At follow-up questionnaire (1-5 years after treatment)
Secondary Outcome
Measure Time Frame
Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NRPS) Baseline, visit physician prescribes therapy (average 10 weeks after baseline), discharge (average 4-6 month after baseline), and on follow-up questionnaire (1-5 years post treatment)
Number of Physician Visits Time to discharge from physicians care (up to 104 weeks)
Number of Physical Therapy Visits Time to discharge from physical therapy care (up to 104 weeks)
Compliance with prescribed care Time to discharge from physicians care (up to 104 weeks)
Enrollment 250
Condition
Intervention

Intervention Type: Other

Intervention Name: Physical Therapy

Description: Physical therapy will consist of standard physical therapy care for spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis.

Eligibility

Sampling Method:

Non-Probability Sample

Criteria:

Inclusion Criteria: - Patient must have been treated by the Nationwide Children's sports medicine physicians as well as Nationwide Children's sports and orthopedic physical therapists for spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis from 2009-2013 confirmed by MRI or Bone Scan. Exclusion Criteria: - Diagnosis made by: X-ray, CT, suspicion

Gender:

All

Minimum Age:

N/A

Maximum Age:

N/A

Healthy Volunteers:

No

Overall Official
Last Name Role Affiliation
Mitchell Selhorst, DPT Principal Investigator Nationwide Childrens Hospital
Location
Facility:
Nationwide Children's Hospital Sports and Ortho PT Ortho Center | Columbus, Ohio, 43205, United States
Nationwide Children's Hospital Sports and Ortho PT East Broad | Columbus, Ohio, 43213, United States
Nationwide Children's Hospital Sports and Ortho PT Dublin | Dublin, Ohio, 43017, United States
Nationwide Children's Hospital Sports and Ortho PT Westerville | Westerville, Ohio, 43082, United States
Location Countries

United States

Verification Date

2021-02-01

Responsible Party

Type: Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Investigator Full Name: Mitchell Selhorst

Investigator Title: Physical Therapist/Research Coordinator

Keywords
Has Expanded Access No
Condition Browse
Arm Group

Label: Early referral to therapy

Description: Patients with a confirmed diagnosis of spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis whose physicians median referral to physical therapy time is less than or equal to 10 weeks.

Label: Later referral to therapy

Description: Patients with a confirmed diagnosis of spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis whose physicians median referral to physical therapy time is >10 weeks.

Study Design Info

Observational Model: Cohort

Time Perspective: Other

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