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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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My 15 yr old has a par stress fracture on her L5 left side.

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my 15 yr old has a par stress fracture on her L5 left side. She was told that she could not do any activities for 3 months and was fitted for a brace 3 days ago. Is it typical to wait 3 months, or is 6 weeks normal. We have had two different doctors telling us different things. Also, one doctor said no activites other than speed walking in the pool while the other said swimming would not hurt the fracture. What should we do? swim, just speed walk, 3 months or 6 weeks?

Generally avoid putting stress on the area is important in trying to heal fractures.

Usually for any break in the bone itself -- a healing period of 3 months is generally used. 3 months is usually the minimum, and can be up to about 6 months.

Without actually knowing the degree of the fracture (mild, tiny, large, etc) it is impossible for anyone on the Internet to advise you to the appropriateness of the activities that she can engage in, though both the speed walking in the pool and gentle swimming should not put that much stress on the L5 body. Activities that would cause her to bounce up and down (running, basketball), or put stress on the back (leg squats, sit ups) -- are definitely out.

And if her doctor told her 3 months -- 3 months it is.

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