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16 yr old with 5mm break - Bilaterl Pars Defect

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Old 02-12-2009, 07:42 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2
TxMama3 HB User
Question 16 yr old with 5mm break - Bilaterl Pars Defect

Hi everyone, this is my first post. I'm so glad to find this message board!!

BACKGROUND: My 16yr old son was dx w/a bilateral pars defect at L5 - there is a 5mm break on each side so the middle of the vertebra is "floating" - we have been to 3 orthopedics.... all 3 say to WAIT and give it time to calm down and the pain will go away. Its been 3 months, he's literally don't nothing but go to school (no PE) do homework and play video games and watch TV. The last dr we went to this week, a ped ortho, said if he's not any better in May, then we'll talk about surgery, L5/S1 fusion. He is in so much pain, we have to see a pain management dr every 30 days, he had 1 steroid pain inj in DEC and will have another one in FEB. He only got 1 1/2 weeks of relief from the 1st one, the 2nd one is being done by his new pain mgmnt DR and will contain different meds from the 1st injection - so we are hopeful he will get some relief.

I greatly welcome comments, suggestions and any input ya'll have w/this type of injury - I don't want my son to have to go thru back surgery, but I also don't want him to have to be a couch potato the rest of his left either...


Frisco, TX

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Old 02-12-2009, 07:43 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: MN,USA
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megss HB User
Re: 16 yr old with 5mm break - Bilaterl Pars Defect


I have the same problem. My fracture is at L5 on both sides as well. I also have herniated discs with disc disease at L4-L5 and L5-S1. I am 27 and married with a 17 month old little girl. My pain started 9 months ago. So far I have tried oral prednisone twice, various anti inflammatories, 2 injections, and am working on my second physical therapy program right now. The injections never gave me even one day of relief. They will try absolutely every form of conservative treatment before doing surgery. I have been to 2 surgeons so far and no one rushes into surgery these days. Especially with spondy. My grandmother had a fusion surgery for hers, but not until her vertebrae had slipped away by 50%. My slippage at this point is not much, only a grade 1 (0-25%), but my disc issues are causing a lot of pain. Have they talked to you and your son about doing physical therapy? I would guess that will be next.
Do you know how this happened? Did he have an injury? I have no idea how mine happened unless it had something to do with being pregnant and giving birth to a 9 pound baby.

Old 02-13-2009, 05:27 AM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2
TxMama3 HB User
Re: 16 yr old with 5mm break - Bilaterl Pars Defect

Thank u so much for your reply... we have no idea how Elliott injured his back -- probably a combination of little things I guess, a fall here and there, I don't really know. They don't want to prescribe PT until his pain in under control w/o pain meds..... so now he just does nothing -- he was supposed to get another pain injections next Friday, but I think we are going to have to cancel. He just woke up w/a high fever, and I'm pretty sure its the flu. So many sick w/it how - even though we all had a flu shot. It's going to be a long week!! I thank you for your communication and I pray that you get relief soon so that you can enjoy being a Mom. HAPPY FRIDAY

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