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L5 S1 pars defect 7mm Please help? How serious is this?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Lower Back Pain
I was in a car wreck Feb 24th. Was rear ended while stopped at a red light, the kid was going 40 to 45 mph. I saw it coming and tensed and stood on brake. I had MRI last week and got the results yesterday. They say that my L5 S1 has a 7mm pars defect. And that it is being supported only by ligiments. How serious is this?

I started having pretty bad lower back and right hip pain 2 days after wreck. My hands starting going numb for no apparent reason and got alot of numbness in my feet. And my left calf just starts cramping out of no where, and I can not sleep at night because I can not get comfortable. I am suppose to see ortho surgeon next week. Please help me understand this. What does all this mean. I am new to board and have no idea what I am facing.

Thanks in advance for any help.


  • Seattle ScottSSeattle Scott Posts: 13
    edited 07/02/2012 - 8:59 AM
    I have a bi-lateral L5 pars defect, though I have had it for years. There is a lot of great information on this web site about pars defects, which often is referred to as spondylolysis. I am not sure what the 7mm refers to, either to the space in the fracture, or maybe the amount of slip of the L5. When the L5 slips, the term commonly used is spondylolisthesis. My understanding is the pars is the area of the vertebrae that connects with the facet joint, which keep the vertebrae in place when the back is flexed. If the pars fracture is complete, there is nothing to hold the vertebrae in place as you move your back.

    Here is a link to some information about this area of back issues:

    Best of luck with the ortho.

  • Thanks so much for the information.

    I think the 7mm is the degree of slippage and they did tell me that not much is supporting my back as it moves. I do know that it is pretty painful at times and I really feel something when bending and turning and such.

    I was also told that it is bilateral as well. Does this turn into a life long problem, or is it fixable with therapy?

    Thanks and good luck to you as well.
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