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Complete Fracture to L5

mrfracingmmrfracing Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Lower Back Pain

My son has just been diagnosed with a complete fracture to the left pars at L5 and a broad-based disc bulge at the L5/S1. The bulge is described as an annular bulge with close apposition between the bulging disc and the S1 nerve roots in the lateral recesses of the spinal canal. He is 15 years old and was also diagnosed with a stress fracture to the L4 in February which has healed. The fractures are caused through his chosen sport ( cricket bowler ), any advice on treatments, outlooks would be greatly appreciated. At the moment he is devastated.



  • What did the doctors say? Is it the type of fracture that generally heals well?

    That must be very hard for him- poor kid.

    Welcome to spine health! Unfortunately we are not doctors here, so we can't say how well he will heal from his injury, but I can say at 15 I hope it's a lot better than some of us who chose to learn our lessons the hard way in our 40s (or higher!).

    Is the doctor suggesting conservative treatment?

  • Thanks so much for your reply, we have been told that these type of fractures heal well, but since it is a complete fracture I am a bit more worried. If anyone can offer advice on whether an osteopath or a physio is best for rehab that would be great. Having seen physios over the last year for his back, I was wondering if an osteopath is a better option.
  • I have had some awesome results with an osteopath. I like the fact that they take in the "whole person" when treating someone. They remind me a lot of what a country doctor used to be who would make house calls and get to know everything possible about the patient.

    As happyHBmom stated, we are not doctors, so the best we can do is share personal experiences with you in the hopes it will provide some insight into what your son is facing.

    Welcome to Spine Health.


    Spine Health Moderator
  • I would think you want an osteopath who is trained in rehabilitative medicine, though. I don't know how they are there, but here osteopaths can be any type of doctor, with the addition that they do some sorts of manipulation. Of course you would want to discuss any planned manipulation first with your orthopedic specialist.

    eta: I assume you have seen the imaging and know what the pars is. Here is the Spine-Health article on pars defects:




  • Thanks so much for all your advice.
  • Hi,

    Regarding this post I have a few more questions and would appreciate any help.

    Having just seen a sports specialist, she thinks that his first fracture in the L4 was actually in the L5 and was read wrong. She called the fracture he has now a chronic fracture and talked about it now being held together by a fiboursy tissue?, does this mean it has healed to its best outcome already, as the pars fracture tests, bending back etc cause him no pain, his only pain is coming from a bulging disc that wasn't picked up or treated last time and what she is concentrating on now.

    Sorry for all this, I thought I understood her but on returning home am less sure and the next appointment is 2 weeks away.
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