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Spondylosis and bilateral pars defects in L5

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 51,489
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hey everyone,
I just found this site and figured I would ask about this here. I'm 17 years old and I have spondylosis and bilateral pars defects in L5. It's a long story, but basically I did this playing football. Anyway, I have been told that the bones will not reconnect and are completely separated. I have been resting for a month and doing therapy for 2 weeks and the doctor told me I was able to return to basketball. However, my mom will not let me as she thinks I need 6-8 weeks to heal. The doctor gave me a brace and said I will not make it any worse playing basketball.

Basically is it safe to start to return because the bones will never reconnect? Is the doctor correct in that the chances of making it worse are less than 1%? I really want to return for the basketball season but my mom is very protective. Any insight/experience/advice is welcomed.

Thanks and sorry for the long post.
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Comments

  • What type of doctor gave you this advice? Is he a fellowship-trained spinal specialist? If so, I would suggest that he knows better than mom and it should be safe to follow his advice.

    You might what to get a second opinion from a second spinal specialist (NOT a general orthopedist, or an orthopedic doc who is a sports specialist). If the opinions concur, then you can be reasonably certain that you can take his advice and follow it as instructed.

    Here is a link to an article on this website that may help you to understand your condition:

    http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/spondylolisthesis/spondylolysis-and-spondylolisthesis

    http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/spondylolisthesis/spondylolysis-treatments

    "Treatments for active spondylolysis
    The recommended treatment program for active spondylolysis is usually a combination of the following:
    Bracing to immobilize the spine for a short period (e.g. four months) to allow the pars defect to heal
    Pain medications and/or anti-inflammatory medication, as needed
    Stretching, beginning with gentle hamstring stretching and progressing with additional stretches over time
    Exercise that is controlled and builds gradually over time."
  • Thanks for your quick reply gwennie. Yes, the doctor is a spine specialist (worked at Duke for over 10 years), so I definitely trust in his judgment. However, the therapist that I have seen says 6-8 weeks as well as my mom.

    Here's the dilemma (I guess you could call it that)

    Basically they think it should be 6-8 weeks so that it can heal. However, the specialist said that it will NOT heal and that I could go back after 2 weeks (it's been over 2 weeks now). I don't think either my mom or the therapist realize that it will not reconnect and that's why they think it should take longer. I'm just trying to figure out if it will it's safe to return because it will never heal. Is that confusing? If so I'm sorry. I'm just trying to find the best way to word it.

    Oh, and I just realized in my title I put spondylolysis, which I understand as the pars defect. I have that but meant to put spondylolysthesis. So basically I have everything haha.
  • The important thing to try to find out is whether the spondylolisthesis is stable, or if it is allowing movement. I wouldn't think the surgeon would allow you to return to sports if it were unstable.

    When it is unstable, there is always the chance that it will slide more. Sometimes a nerve will become compressed due to one vertebra sliding over the top of the next vertebra.

    Do you experience leg pain with this?

    I do understand your question, but I do not have an answer for you. I don't quite understand why the pars cannot heal. But again, I would certainly think the doctor would know and you could trust his advice.
  • The sponylolisthesis is stable as far as we know. I'm going back to get xrays in 6 months to confirm that but he was very sure that it was stable. I have no leg pain/tingling in my legs. As far as the pars, he said that they are completely separated from the bone that they were attached to. It is my understanding that if it they are completely detached, they will not heal. If they are partially attached, then the body will act to heal this. Again, this is just my understanding. If I am wrong, somebody please correct me. Thanks again for your help.
  • The main reason you would need surgery is if there were instability...and in that case, fusion is usually recommended.

    I guess I don't see the need to wait to play basketball if your specialist tells you it is OK and there is little chance of excess movement occurring.
  • I was under the impression that pars defect was a birth defect. It is when the back side of the l5 vertebre doesn't form properly and in effect L5 isn't connected to the rest of the spine. If the spondy is stable then nothing needs to be done. If not then bracing etc can be done. I have spondy, I was fused due to blown discs and had nothing to do with the spondy, mine was stable and caused no symptoms. Good Luck
  • So if I read your question correctly, you're a 17 year old active sports player Right? You got hurt playing football right?

    Please let me share something with you OK. When I was 12 years old, I was playing football for a school team. I played both offensive and defensive tackle. One time I talked the QB one to many times, I got speared in the back by a few of the other team. I ended up in the hospital overnight for observation and xrays. I was in a lot of pain for what seemed to be a very long time. But worked it out by becoming a martial artist and weight lifter and body builder.
    When I was 16 I joined the Army but because of other medical reasons, asthma, I got an honorable discharge for medical reasons. After that, I lived like I was horse that was rowed hard and put up wet. Playing football, basketball, baseball, hockey, rock climbing, snow skiing, hunting and gold mining took its toll on my body. I was doing OK most of the time but always suffered with a real bad back ache.

    In 1990 my wife talked me into seeing a Chiropractor who took xrays and done some tests. He "said" I had a broken back with two vertebrates that had 1.2cm break. He "said" that could fix the two broken vertebrates by making adjusting in my back and a lot of therapy.
    Two adjustments and one two days of therapy and I was not able to walk. In 1993 I had my first fusion after the surgeon cleaned out all the broken pieces of bone that was causing all kinds of having with the nerves, roots and spinal cord.

    Now I am 52 and after over 8 back surgeries, I am paralyzed from the waist down and always in extreme pain because, I had the same as you it all started but no one knew about the hairline breaks, spondylosis or any of the other problems I have had with my back.

    I started like you, now I am looking at my 9th back surgery. I don't think you want to do anything that will mess you up more now or in your future my boy. You are in my prayers.
  • ChaplainCChaplain Posts: 2
    edited 01/24/2014 - 12:37 PM
    Chaplain said:
    So if I read your question correctly, you're a 17 year old active sports player Right? You got hurt playing football right?

    Please let me share something with you OK. When I was 12 years old, I was playing football for a school team. I played both offensive and defensive tackle. One time I talked the QB one to many times, I got speared in the back by a few of the other team. I ended up in the hospital overnight for observation and xrays. I was in a lot of pain for what seemed to be a very long time. But worked it out by becoming a martial artist and weight lifter and body builder.
    When I was 16 I joined the Army but because of other medical reasons, asthma, I got an honorable discharge for medical reasons. After that, I lived like I was horse that was rowed hard and put up wet. Playing football, basketball, baseball, hockey, rock climbing, snow skiing, hunting and gold mining took its toll on my body. I was doing OK most of the time but always suffered with a real bad back ache.

    In 1990 my wife talked me into seeing a Chiropractor who took xrays and done some tests. He "said" I had a broken back with two vertebrates that had 1.2cm break. He "said" that could fix the two broken vertebrates by making adjusting in my back and a lot of therapy.
    Two adjustments and one two days of therapy and I was not able to walk. In 1993 I had my first fusion after the surgeon cleaned out all the broken pieces of bone that was causing all kinds of having with the nerves, roots and spinal cord.

    Now I am 52 and after over 8 back surgeries, I am paralyzed from the waist down and always in extreme pain because, I had the same as you it all started but no one knew about the hairline breaks, spondylosis or any of the other problems I have had with my back.

    I started like you, now I am looking at my 9th back surgery. I don't think you want to do anything that will mess you up more now or in your future my boy. You are in my prayers.
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