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Pars Defect in basketball athlete

Started by bballforever on 05/04/2012 9:02pm

hi everyone, i play basketball year round and i take it very seriously. this past summer i began to have pain in my lower back. the doctors thought i pulled a muscle but when i went to see a physical therapist they thought something was really wrong. i was diagnosed with bilateral pars defect at L5. I was put in a brace for 3 months then 3 months of physical therapy--missing my entire basketball season. i was cleared to play again for my spring team because both X-rays and mris were normal. however i kept having so much pain i had to stop and return to physical therapy. I'm a high school kid and i really don't want to miss anymore of my basketball career at my school. does anyone know why i still have so much pain if all my scanning is normal and i did the rehab? please help it means a lot.

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It is worth getting this right now because pars defect can lead to spondylolisthesis later on which is very painful and disabling, although it is very frustrating to have to miss sports especially at your age. I recommend you ask for a combined nuclear bone scan and SPECT CT. It is an expensive test and will involve going to a specialist centre but it is the only way to see for sure if the pars defect has healed. If it hasnt there is an operation called the Bucks repair see posts by Scott Hews on this site

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Hi again,
i have now been told that i can't play basketball again and possibly need a spinal fusion to fix the fractures. it has been a year and a half. does anyone know if this surgery is helpful? thank you

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Are you sure it is not spondylolisthesis, where you have a slip of one vertebra over another? I have not read about fusion being done for pars fractures without a slip... but I am not a Dr. My daughter has a slip of about 50% and is also active in basketball and softball... she will likely have surgery. She too is sitting out right now, and it is very difficult for her... but the most important thing is to do what is best not just for right now, but for the rest of your life. Are you and your parents seeing a Dr who specializes in pediatric spine conditions?

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You must enquire about a direct pars repair not a fusion
See posts by Scott hews on this site

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Hi bballforever- Do you have an update? My son experience very same scenario. Please give update

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Bballforever and TexasMomRN,

Do you have any updates? I'm considering having the direct pars repair surgery.

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