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Anyone know about Buck's Repair?

Started by sam.alfred on 07/09/2014 10:39am


I am an active 19 year old college student living in South Dakota. About 11 months ago I injured my low back doing heavy dead lifts at the gym, which was probably a mistake looking back at it. I felt a strain after a lift, and thought I may have pulled a muscle. When I had X-rays and MRI's done I was diagnosed with L5/S1 spondylolisthesis and a mildly herniated disc. I tried out chiropractic care, physical therapy, pain meds, injections and all that conservative stuff throughout the school year, but little long term relief was achieved.

This May I stopped in to see a doctor at a spine clinic, and he pointed out a pars fracture at L5/S1. From there I underwent a bone scan to see if the bones were trying to heal themselves, but since the injury had happened 10 months prior to the scan, it did not show anything. The doctors think this may be something I was born with and the fracture is not the problem, but I don't believe it. My take is that the bones are no longer trying to heal because it has been so long, and the fracture is not going to heal naturally.

With that said, I visited a neurosurgeon recently regarding possible surgical repairs. At Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD, the only option they had was a fusion surgery, in which they do not think I am a candidate for, being as young as I am. I agree, I hate the idea of having my vertebrae fused together and losing movement at the L5/S1 joint. But at the same time, I would rather have something done about my problem instead of simply dealing with the symptoms for the rest of time, and having to limit my activities forever.

Upon reading posts on this website, I found a post by Scott Hews about an alternative repair called' Buck's Repair' otherwise known as a 'spinal screw fixation'. It seems to me like a perfect option-- it directly repairs the pars fracture without fusing two vertebrae together and losing that mobility forever. However, when I asked the neurosurgeon about this, he did not know much about this procedure, nor did he know anyone that did. I have no idea where I can find a place that can do this procedure, but I am highly interested in inquiring about this. I go back to school on August 25th and if I underwent a procedure I would like to be ready to return to classes by that time. So I am aggressively looking for this, and if anyone has any advice it would be much appreciated!

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3 Responses


Sam I did see this surgery.
They cut a hole above your butt hole sorry.
Fallow up the inside of your pelvis.
And drill a hole into the L5.
Then run a lag bolt into your L4.
And they have to remove the disc any way.
They do it the way they go in.
Then they push glue up threw the hole to fuse them together.
Here is the dill.
They still will have to put two screws in your back.
Threw the fractures where the locking boney part is.
I seen it and asked my surgeon.
There is a video on it out there.
But I can remember were.
May be better then two rods six screws and no fusion.
Hope this helps.


I trained with weights for thirty years and now I am a cripple and cannot function.
Were I you friend..I would train very light or quit.


Please update me with names of U.S. Surgeons as my son is suffering with this same scenario. He is 17, missing senior varsity basketball season. Bilateral L5 pars defect. "Old" injury we are told. Constant pain. Pain management attempted bracing, PT, meds, rest, etc. pain continues. 10+ months now. We see a local surgeon in February because we are not willing to "give up hope" of relief and return to athletic physical activity. However, we are not ready to consider fusion now and possibly ever. Basketball has been his passion since he could say the word "basketball".