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Old 09-18-2012, 05:58 PM   #2
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Re: Daughter has severe back and neck pain and more.

I don't have any suggestions for some of the issues, but I would like to comment on the pars defect and the spondylolisthesis at L5-S1.

Perhaps one of the specialists told you that it is not uncommon for adolescent athletes to develop a spondylolisthesis, usually at the L4-L5 or L5-S1 segment of the lumbar spine. Any sport or activity that puts the spine in extension, such as gymnastics, diving, dance, etc. is particularly suspect. Also kids who play football or other sports involving impact can develop it. Often there is a pars fracture that leads to the one vertebra sliding over the top of the adjacent one. This can go unnoticed unless it begins to cause pain, usually when a nerve becomes irritated or compressed.

Spondylolisthesis can cause an instability which can lead to even more problems down the road. Once there is an issue that is producing pain, the body naturally compensates for it by favoring one side. This can lead to muscle imbalances, ligaments and tendons being pulled or stressed, etc. which can lead to the development of other problems.

When one area of spinal alignment is pulled out of balance, often another area of the spine will develop a problem, too. Posture affects more than most of us realize. It could be that the scoliosis is putting some additional stress on the chest cavity or some organs that are affecting her health.

With the spondylolisthesis, your daughter should avoid doing anything that puts her spine in extension -- things like swimming on the stomach, any yoga posture that involves bending backward, etc. Actually, until you have her back problems figured out, I would suggest she avoid any type of bending at the that L5 segment may be unstable.

Be careful of giving your daughter too many injections. At her young age, I wouldn't think a steady dosage of steroids would be too healthy for her...and, other than possibly helping with the pain, injections will do nothing to help to resolve the spinal issues if her problem is mechanical.

You might want to look for an orthopedic spine surgeon who has a special interest in scoliosis. This type of doctor might be able to tie her symptoms together and figure out what is going on.

It can be extremely frustrating when trying to unravel an issue involving the spine. And I'm sure it is even more frustrating when it involves one's child. I hope you will find some answers soon.

If there is a multi-specialty children's hospital near where you live, you might want to consult with an orthopedic surgeon from there.

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luvsun24 (09-19-2012)