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22 with bilateral pars fracture

About 7 months ago I injured my back doing squats. I did a triathlon right after but the pain finally went away within a week or 2. Stupidly I did squats again and the next day was bad couldn't hardly get out of bed. Well, a couple days later it started getting better but then I mowed my nanas yard which is a rock yard and beats your back to death. The next day I couldn't end over. I was in the ROTC in college and had to drop it bc the running would just flare it up. It was just hurting on my right side so I thought it was a bulging disc or something. I had never heard of a pars fracture. I ended up going to center of sports medicine spine specialist. He thought he seen a break in the X-ray so ordered me to get an MRI. All that was on the report was very slight bulg at l4 or something. He told me to take 2 weeks off and start physical therapy. Those 2 weeks it started to feel a lot better. The physical therapy made it stronger but never took the pain away completely. It's been about 4 months since then, and I never thought anything about it really the pain was still there in my right side but I figured it might always be there. Well bout 3 weeks ago I was working out and the next day I woke up and it was killing me on my right and left side. 2 weeks ago I went and seen another specialist and he looked at my old MRI and said looks like you have a pars fracture which made me mad I mean how could the other doc have missed it!? He told me it prob wouldn't heal and to do whatever I want to on it. I just don't see that happening my back has been killing me after I injured it 3 weeks ago. Pain is getting a little better now but I sit in classes 8 hours a day for college and that kills it. I am so depressed bc I love working out, playing sports, marathons, triathlons. That's all I know and it feels like it's the end for me at 22. I'm to hound to feel like an old man. I am getting a ct scan tomorrow. I'm afraid to do anything on it now since I know it's broke. I feel like it can heal. A neurologist told me if the fractures are close together it has a chance to heal. Brace it and rest 3 to 6 months and maybe bone growth stimulator. I just want to feel normal again. It has been going on for 7-8 months now. Anybody else have any experience with these? What's the suggestion? Am I hanging on to hope of healing for nothing? I'd just like to feel normal again I don't want to live with this.


  • Also I've read where bone growth stimulators can help heal a pars fracture. Would it be worth a try?
  • many people have had pars fractures, especially athletes, since the abuse to the spine tends to occur , in some sports more than others, and from improper lifting techniques. They can and often do heal on their own, and unless there was reason to believe that the fracture was unstable, the surgeon you saw previously may have taken a wait and see approach, as it sounds like he did.
    Physical therapy is one of the first steps in getting treatment for Chronic Spine Pain. Here is a link to a thread that talks about the steps in getting treated for back pain. I hope that it helps.
    Spine Health Moderator
  • Just got my ct scan report back: l5/s1 there is mild right sided facet joint arthropathy with anterior spurring that just contacts the descending s1 nerve. No pars fracture, no spondylosis

    What I don't get if it's that causing my pain why is it hurting on my left side just like my right side now and if it's arthritis why does it feel the best when waking up in the morning? I thought facet joint arthropathy happened over a long period of time? I am just 22 so it doesn't make since to me. It just started hurting bad after injuring it 6 months ago. Could it be something else causing the pain because it said no arthropathy of the left side but it hurts like the right side?
  • Pain isn't always true to where the spinal injury lies. Some days my back hurts right where I know the problem is, but others it doesn't hurt there and just hurts at a lower level of the spine. I don't know why.
  • The doc thinks I have torn facet ligaments or strained. He thinks I've kept reinjuring it. Can this heal with time? He has me doing physical therapy.
  • Also could I have ligamentous laxity of the facet joint?
  • Hi Jack5416,
    I don't have much experience with your injuries, but I know the emotional stress that you are going through all too well. I am 24 and injured my back 3 years ago (on 3/13 to be exact). It took me 2 1/2 years to even get a diagnosis. That was complete torment: MRI after MRI showed nothing, X-rays negative. I was beginning to think that I was just losing my mind even though the pain began to become more severe.
    What I am saying is that I know how you feel. I can't even go to classes because sitting and walking is too painful, I walk with a cane because my affected leg will spontaneously give out, and I haven't worked for a total of 14 months since I was injured three years ago.
    I know that you are feeling a bit hopeless, and it is definitely a legitimate feeling. The best you can do is accept that you are injured, follow the doc's instructions, and to keep reminding yourself of your doc's words: physically therapy will help strengthen your muscles and aide in the healing of the injury.
    It is hard, but try to remind yourself that it won't be like this forever :)
    And if you need to talk, feel free to private message me!
  • Jack5416 said:
    The doc thinks I have torn facet ligaments or strained. He thinks I've kept reinjuring it. Can this heal with time? He has me doing physical therapy.
    I don't know much about facet ligaments in particular, but generally tears and sprains do heal, yes.
  • Does anyone know anything about prolotherapy? Is it safe to do for facet joints? And does it really work?
  • Prolotherapy is basically an injection of sugar water injected into muscles which is supposed to cause irritation and therefore create some scar tissue/reaction, which is supposed to strengthen muscles somehow. It is not something that I am aware of that would work with facet joint problems.
    Physical therapy is the one of the first steps in trying to relieve the pain of a spine issue, and is helpful in helping you develop your core muscles to strengthen them around your spine, therefore lessening the chance that you might injure it again.
    There is a link to the Step by Step Guide to getting treatment for Chronic pain at the bottom of this post. It might help you to read it- there is alot of information in it to help those new to spine care .
    Here is a link to injections that your doctor might suggest if the physical therapy does not offer enough relief ....

  • Has anyone heard of prp(platelet rich plasma) Ive read where major athletes have used it for ligament injuries to get them healed faster(Kobe Bryant, tiger woods, Heinz ward). Does anyone know much about this. My si ligaments are strained and have become lax.
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