Summary: We assessed sacro‐pelvic morphology and orientation in a population of 92 gymnasts, including 6 subjects presenting spondylolisthesis. Weekly training hours, as well as sacro‐pelvic orientation and morphology were different between gymnasts with and without spondylolisthesis.
Introduction: Sacro‐pelvic morphology and orientation in gymnasts and their relationship with spondylolisthesis have never been analyzed. The purpose of this study was therefore to evaluate the prevalence of spondylolisthesis in a cohort of gymnasts, from all age groups (under 21), with similar environmental risk factors, regardless of symptoms of low back pain, as well as the associated demographic characteristics and sacro‐pelvic morphology and orientation.
Methods: Radiological evaluation of 92 gymnasts was performed to identify spondylolisthesis, and to measure pelvic incidence, pelvic tilt, sacral slope and sacral table angle. Different demographic and training characteristics were evaluated. Radiographic parameters were compared with reference values published for asymptomatic children and adolescents, and for subjects with spondylolisthesis. The level of significance was set to 0.05.
Results: A 6.5 % prevalence of spondylolisthesis was found in our cohort. The weekly training schedule was the only statistically significant different demographic characteristic between subjects with and without spondylolisthesis. Pelvic incidence, pelvic tilt, sacral slope and sacral table angle were respectively 69±20°, 15±13°, 54±11° and 88±7° in gymnasts with spondylolisthesis, and 53±11°, 10±6°, 43±9° and 94±6° in gymnasts without spondylolisthesis. When compared to asymptomatic individuals, pelvic incidence and pelvic tilt were slightly increased in gymnasts without spondylolisthesis. Pelvic incidence, sacral slope and sacral table angle were significantly different between gymnasts with and without spondylolisthesis.
Conclusion: The prevalence of spondylolisthesis in young gymnasts was similar to that observed in the general population. This prevalence is lower than that reported in previous studies, presumably due to modified training methods related to the awareness of potential risks for spondylolisthesis in the two centers involved in this study. Sagittal sacropelvic morphology and orientation was abnormal in gymnasts with spondylolisthesis. Sagittal sacropelvic morphology and orientation was also slightly different in gymnasts without spondylolisthesis when compared to the normal population.