L1-l4 Traverse Process Fractures + Disc Problems for years. Any other similar stories or suggestion

Hi there,

I am new to this forum and have been struggling for back problems for quite a while now and wanted to see if anyone else has dealt with anything similar from what I am going through, or to see if anyone has any suggestions to what else I can do.

I used to be a D1 basketball player, very athletic strong, and mobile, but my career ended after fracturing my L1-L4 traverse processes completely off on the left side of my spine after an alley oop dunk 5 years ago. I initially made a full recovery and was pain free plus playing basketball again in 4 months, but as time went by around 8 months in, my whole body, balance, and muscle coordination started to feel off, especially on my left side where my fractures were. 

I had to stop playing D1 bball because of this. Since that injury, my muscle strength, balance, and coordination has just felt off, and has slowly been getting worse every year . These problems also led me to get some episodes of sharp back pain, and which I was diagnosed with bulging discs at L4 + l5. The most recent episode I had was really bad which lasted from February 2019 to November 2019 with sharp pain everyday and a little bit of sciatica, but it finally calmed down after so long.

Since recovering from that bad episode all my deep core, hip, and back muscles have become completely atrophied especially on my left side where my fractures are (they never healed back together to my spine).

I'm finding it almost impossible to build back up the strength and rebuild the brain muscular connection. It feels the fractures I have are moving around, and there is no support at all on in my lower left back. I developed compensation patterns/tightness which I'm finding impossible to break out of, and each month I feel like I'm getting weaker although I'm doing my therapy exercises for 3 hours everyday.

I have been through 3 different physical therapist, two pain specialist, and one orthopedic surgeon now the past year, and they all tell me I should not have any issues. It's just so frustrating, especially because I used to be an athlete, and just 1.5 years ago none of this affected me that badly and I was able to go about my day fine.

I'm at a point now where I can't sit down or walk without being in really bad discomfort due to my core/back muscle imbalances and weakness and feel like I'm running out of options.

Is there anyone else who has or is dealing with something similar, or does anyone have any suggestions for what else I can do? Sorry to rant and thanks for anyone who has read this far : )

Best, AW



  • Welcome awolf22 we’re glad you’re here!

    Sorry you are dealing with this, you mentioned seeing one surgeon, if it were me, I would seek out a second or even a third opinion, you sound like you are young, now is the time to find out what is going on.

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    Here’s a great article about back pain on Spine-health that you might want to check out: Back Pain Overview: A Guide for Understanding Back Pain. It’s a very comprehensive article. I hope you find this information helpful.

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.


    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

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