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L3-L5 PLFusion - 24 yo male - pars defect/fracture - surgery?

I have been living with extreme pain as you all are - for 18 mos since my injury - a fracture of L3L4 pars.  Due to insurance issues, i am being forced to choose an inadequate settlement or have fusion surgery.  I am worried about lifelong issues after a double fusion, but at this point cannot work, sleep etc.

I would love to hear anyone that has had this surgery - did you get relief?  If so, how long?  Does it relieve the pain?  Because I don't care about the fracture, i just want the pain to stop so i can go on w my life. The surgery scares me, i don't feel like it will help in the long run.


  • 26 year old male here. No answers for you but basically in the same position as you. L5-S1 bilateral pars defect, grade 2 unstable spondylolisthesis.

    Looking at L4 L5 S1 fusion on the 22nd of august.

    Im having the same feelings/questions as you are. Looking forward to hearing some responses.

  • Hello, Backhurtsmebad!

    I had a double level spinal fusion surgery in January.  It was originally supposed to be just the L4/L5, but surgeon found a bilateral Pars defect at L5/S1, so he had to fuse that, as well.

    I noticed immediate relief from the pre-op sciatic pain (and believe you me, I had plenty of it!).  I did have some complications arise from excessive scar tissue (happens to some of us, unfortunately), but since I had that taken care of, I feel AWESOME!!  My recovery is back on track, and I'm very glad I had the surgery despite the complications.  Please don't let the scar tissue scare you...everyone gets a little bit after surgery--mine just decided to go a bit haywire.  The 80-90% pain relief my surgeon told me I would experience after the fusion has now become a reality!!!  

    Making the decision to have surgery is tough.  There are plenty of "horror stories" out there about back surgeries gone bad, or the outcome not being what the patient had hoped it would be.  I just got to the point where nothing conservative was working anymore, I was tired of living on pain medications, and a number of different doctors kept pointing me in the direction of surgery.  Do your research doctor-wise, and get as many opinions as you need until you feel comfortable enough to make a decision either way.  There is no such thing as 100% pain relief, although that's not to say those cases don't exist.  Oh, and the surgeon told me because of the Pars fractures, he was able to use that bone in my graft cages rather than having to do additional surgical work by taking the bone graft from my hip (a lot of people here will attest to that being pretty painful, too!).  Yes, I try to see the silver lining in any situation!   

    I'd also like to welcome you to Spine-Health!  Please click on the following link for some helpful information to get you started!

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
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  • I am glad to hear of a positive experience.  I feel like i have about a 50% chance for relief and am afraid due to the permanence of the surgery there will be no going back.  I have tried chiropractic for about 6 mos with minimal results.  The chiro begged me not to do surgery even if i never saw him again.  He said with my age there will be lifelong negative repercussions.
  • Hello, again, Backhurtsmebad! 

    How old are you? 

    I totally get your concerns about the permanence of surgery.  No, there's no going back once it's done, but I cannot agree with the pessimistic outlook from your chiropractor that you will experience "lifelong negative repercussions".  What about the thousands of young adults who've gotten their lives back after having surgery for severe scoliosis in their adolescent years?  I'm just trying to communicate that back surgery at an "atypical" age doesn't automatically mean you are setting yourself up for lifelong, spine-related problems.   

    I can't stress enough that the decision to have surgery is a very hard and personal one, and conflicting information about success rates doesn't help much, either.  It is a decision that only you can make.  I hope as you progress through your research into what your different options are, that you are able to, at the very least, find some relief!!       
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
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