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Pars Fracture/SI Joint Dysfunction

Hello! In March I was injured at work when I fell. I had some x-rays which showed the pars fracture at the L5 and bone bruising in the hip. Well, it's been a battle ever since. Instead of feeling better over time, I've felt worse. I've had 2 months of PT at the beginning, referred to a Pain Management doctor where I've had nerve ablation and other assorted injections. I get some sciatica, shooting pains, difficulty walking up stairs, getting up from a sitting position, and I walk with a limp. I'm 31, and I was in good shape before my accident. I am not too keen on doing any more injections, the steroids give me lovely hot flashes and my menstrual cycles are so heavy they last for about 2 weeks at a time and makes it very uncomfortable to even stand, as I get clots lol.

It's just a very uncomfortable position to be in, to go from being healthy to a walking disaster. It's been 7 months, how long would be a reasonable time before I started considering other options? Are there any suitable surgical options for these types of injuries? My quality of life has changed so drastically I just want to improve. It feels like all we are doing at this point is covering up the underlying reasons I am having pain.

Any suggestions? :)


  • The most commonest surgical method of repairing a pars fracture is fusing the two vertebra. However, this reduces the spinal mobility and takes a long time to recover typically 3-6 months. I was reading that this is a common sports injury in the uk amongst cricket bowlers and that the previous mentioned disadvantages are not acceptable to many of them. It common that they get a pars "repair" method (try googling it). This is where the pars fracture bones are screwed together using a pedicle screw and auto graft bone between the fracture faces. Note: I believe has a lower success rate than fusion (but fusion can be done later) and can be done using minimally invasive technique too. You may have to search for surgeon that has this capability as it is not a common method. Is it worth the effort? Only you can answer that for yourself. Something for you to research anyway. All the best.
  • LA_runner_chickLLA_runner_chick Posts: 86
    edited 10/17/2012 - 8:14 AM
    I have a similar constellation of issues -- a pars fracture, spondy, DDD, stenosis, and SI joint problems.

    You've probably done a lot of research yourself -- the SI joint seems to be something of a mystery. And there's maybe not a "chicken and egg" relationship, but you almost wonder if the other spinal problems are causing or exacerbating the SI joint problems.

    What kind of exercises were you doing in PT? I know that for just about any back issue, there's a lot of emphasis on the core. Yup, been there, done that, not sure if it helped at all.

    Keep us posted on what treatments you get and how they work.
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  • Thank you for your comments and suggestions! Today we are doing more xrays to check for slippage. I will look up the parz repair and inquire about it. I would rather try minimally invasive surgery first, as unfortunatly major surgery could complicate things further down the road. I will keep you updated. I had my epidural injection yesterday, pretty sore today so we will see what the next couple of weeks will bring. So looking forward to some relief!
  • My problems started with the same fracture and after 4 years, which included PT ( I refused injections by personal choice ) I ended up with the vertebra migrating forward over time causing a grade 2 spondylolisthesis. It required a 3 level fusion complete with rods & screws to repair so that I didn't end up in a wheelchair. MRIs were very important in tracking the progression of my condition.

    Just sharing how it ended up for me. I wish you the best.
    Sending healing love to your pain.
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