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Thoraric issue from playing football.

My son recently was involved in game where after a tackle he had pain in the center of his back, between the shoulder blades. After X-ray's and then an MRI the diagnosis was a Mild Superior endplate compression fractures of T5 and T6. After visiting two different ortho.'s, one a general Doctor and one a Spine specialist and another set of X-rays the prognosis was 10-12% compression fracture of the T-6, with questionable fracture of T-5. With T-5 they were uncertain if there was a fracture or not, if so even less then T-6. My question is the about the healing process. Has anyone had these type of very minor compression fractures ? How long have they taken to heal ? When did the pain subside ? He obviously is not playing football but I'm wondering the outcomes of people who have had similar issues. It's been 2 weeks and while he has some pain in his back he has not missed any school or work because of it. Besides some nagging pain he has had no other issues. Its' hard to find information on slight/mild Thoraric compression fractures. Thanks in advance for any experience anyone has with this. We have heard 6-12 weeks to heal, 8-10 average.

Unfortunately, there are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site that can provide any type of medical advice or recommendations. We are only capable in providing personal opinions. The information you are looking for is very specific and the answers should come only from your doctors. Others may have ideas, but each individual is different.
No two situations are alike. So, if someone said, it takes 4 weeks and he is good to go, and after those 4 weeks there is no progress, you start to really wonder.

On a personal note, my major spinal problems started while I was playing football. That was back in the 1960's so before any real good equipment was avaiable and training and coaching tactics were a bit different. I was told as a middle linebacker, always tackle head to head, thats the way to drop your opponent. I did, I had about 5 concussions in 4 years and had so much tingling in my arms and hands, I began to think that was normal. After that, I really didnt pay attention to those problems and year by year went by and finally in 1978 I had the first of my spinal surgeries. Now in 2015, I have had 7 Spinal surgeries, 4 complete joint replacements and 1 Achilles reconstructive surgery.
The root cause? Probably for uncollected and too aggressive football, but beyond that, was not taking care of myself afterwards.
I am not trying to scare you, but talk to your doctors about long term impacts. He is young and should recover fine. But find out what things he can do to ensure that his spine always remains strong.

-- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator 09/11/15 14:12


  • I appreciate the information. I understand that no two injuries are exactly alike and that no one can predict the outcome. I have read a lot of information on the internet about the injury and read through all of the blogs. Most people have much more severe issues so there isn't a lot of information from people who have had this injury. This is why I was wondering if anyone went through less severe issues like his and how things went overall. I'm sure he will be fine given he had no other issues since, trying to make sure we do the right things that help him heal, etc. Right now both Doctors said no further treatment is necessary. Just wait until he is pain free and start working out to add strength. I appreciate your comments.
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