Pars Defect - UK

I suffered an extreme back spasm playing squash almost 3 years ago. Once my back settled down after that I was left with regular pain in my lower back. Eventually I had an MRI and CT scan and was diagnosed with a bilateral pars defect at the l5. It's apparently worse on my left hand side which is where I get the most of my pain.

Since then I've seen 4 different physios and 2 pain management consulatants. I've had 3 seperate round of injections into the back and tried various angles on the physio/strengthening route. Nothing has worked to date.

Nearly 3 years since the original spasms and I'm getting no where. My back aches, throbs, and produces sharp pain on a daily basis, my left leg regularly throbs and feels weak. Any activity tends to flair it up and bring on pain as well as sensations of fuzziness and wetness (have to take my trousers of to be sure I haven't sat in something wet sometimes.)

Bacially I'm at a point now where I just don't know what to do anymore. Pain isn't subsiding and if anything gets worse(It's very up and down, can go from no pain to pain and back to none in the space of 20 mins). I'm unable to play the sports I've loved and played my entire life.

Depression is certainly a big part of it, I have no doubt I am pretty depressed with not being able to do the things I want to do and living in pain all the time. 

I'm a 33 year old male, 6 foot tall and about 10.5/11 stone. I'm not overweight and eat realtively well.

Basically I'm just looking for some advice on what to do next. Everyone I've seen up to now have been polite and helpful, but nothing has helped me and I feel I'm going round and round in circles. I'm just at a complete loss at the moment as to what the answer is. I've thrown about £2k into physio and other treatments and really need some kind of light to appear at the end of the tunnel.

Just feel like putting my fist through a window and bursting into tears on a daily basis. Came very close to punching a stranger yesterday out of pure frustration. I'm not an angry or violent person and I hate that this is bringing that side out in me

Does anyone out there have any experience of this issue and know any specialists/consultants in or around the London area that can put me on the right track? I'm at the point now where if surgey is the answer I'll do it. I just need to feel some progression of any kind.

Many thanks.



  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 4,299
    Hello jibber4568 !
    You said that any activity can cause the pain and or flare... may I ask what kind of activity..? at the gym..? ...or taking the garbage out?

    Im sorry to hear that so far no luck with your physics or pain management doctors.
    Even if there is no known reason for pain, the pain is real and they usually stay with you to be as comfortable as possible.
    But I'm most used to my PM doctor who continued testing me to discover cause and at same time treating me to take edge off of pain.

    Have you tried any teaching hospitals?

    We are not allowed to give the names of any doctors and not to give out the name of any facilities.

    I truly understand the struggle with depression. I did not like who I was becoming either.
    Between the pain and being irritable with the pain, I also looked like I hated the world much of the time.

    I referred myself for psychiatric help. I also did some talk therapy.
    Then I found therapist specialized in depression with chronic pain.
    Wow....she was so helpful! She gave immediate feedback on the many things I was doing right!...and much more.

    My other therapists were very helpful, but the specializing one really believed this unbelievable pain.
  • Hello,

    Thanks for the reply.

    That's a real shame that you can post recomendations of doctors/consultants. All I want is to find someone who understands the ins and outs of a pars defect and can help me move forward. Guess I just go back to hoping one day I'll stumble across that person.

    In response to your question anything can cause the pain to flair up. I used to do Reformer pilates/strech classes until I stopped due to the pain they would cause afterwards. Sometimes pain comes for no obvious reason, sometimes a 1 mile run will be fine and sometimes it will have me in agony for 2/3 days. There is simply no obvious logic to it.

    I simply can't live like this anymore and desperately want to find someone who can understand and help me without just prescribing me a cocktail of drugs. 

    Round and round I go  :'(
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  • Hi there.
    Really sorry to read you are struggling with this & your pain isn't well controlled.
    I notice you've seen 2 pain management people & 4 physios.
    Has your GP referred you to a Ortho Surgeon and/or Neuro consultant? 
    You're in the UK yes? Are you going down NHS or private practice?
    If NHS there are teaching hospitals that specialise in many different areas. Ask your GP to refer you to one whose main focus is on Ortho/spinal research but remember sometimes very good consultants can be based in other NHS hospitals. Google or searching NHS consultants will probably guide you or ask you GP to do it. 
    Do it sooner rather than later - my urgent referral got me an appointment for April & i am bed ridden - so much for urgent!!! :) I ended up going private to see if a spinal injection would help while i wait for my April appointment.
    Sorry i can't name any hospitals or anything.
    I know a couple of people who suffer from chronic pain & they found pain management courses useful but they still have down days. I think that's just part of living w chronic pain.
    I hope you find something that helps you.
  • Hello jibber4568,

    I've had a lower back issue for over a year. I play squash requlary, well I did I until the discomfort got to a point in Aug 2017 I stopped. I've had 30 sessions of Physio/Chiro with no improvement since May. Just recently I've had an MRI from seeing a spinal consultant and just today I've had a follow up and X-ray. He has said I have PARS and this is probably the cause of my pain. I get it from bending forwards, rotating, going from seated to walking and also coughing and sneezing triggers the pain. He has suggested injection in Jan. I may try to do some core strengthen exercises also. I've found the best relief is by wearing a sacrial belt. Be good to hear more from you. Cheers Ben.

  • LizLiz Posts: 2,273

    The member that created this discussion has not been on the forum since posting so I am closing it

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