The evidence for spondylolytic defects in prehistoric Saskatchewan Aboriginal populations
Sullivan-Spangehl, Kathleen Ann
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Spondylolysis is a separation in the neural arch that occurs in the region of the pars interarticularis and is considered to be an acquired fatigue fracture which may have a genetic or familial element. This defect generally occurs in the lumbar vertebrae with the L5 being the most frequently affected. The University of Saskatchewan osteology collection has 12 individuals displaying spondylolytic defects. These represent native populations of the plains and parkland areas of Saskatchewan and span the prehistoric and early historic periods. This study includes an examination of these skeletal materials as well as a thorough investigation of the literature concerning spondlyolytic defects. Original research on unusual environmentally or culturally-determined habitual postures that may have lead to fatigue fractures in prehistoric and historic Plains Indians is discussed.