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911Doctor, Doctor
Category: Health
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Experience:  Board Certified Emergency Physician
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Went to Chiropractor for lower back pain. On X-ray they

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Went to Chiropractor for lower back pain. On X-ray they noticed a PARS stress fracture but cannot tell if it's new or old but believe it's stable. The first one said maybe it didn't heal bone to bone (maybe cartilage in between) and when I asked the second if it's old and just not healed bone to bone do I need to do anything about it she said these fractures don't heal bone to bone and the crack will alway be there. Which one is true?

They are working on a believed herniated L5 disc.

911Doctor :

Unfortunately there is no way to know other than time. If this is an acute injury the pars defect could heal, but more often they are always there. As long as it is unilateral... one side only, this is of no concern going forward. When the fractures are at the same spinal level on both sides you can have instability that progresses over time. This is called SPONDYLOLISTHESIS, and you do not have it. But rehabilitating this injury and getting back to good core strength will go a long way to getting you better and preventing progression.

911Doctor :


911Doctor :

a single pars defect or stress fracture may or may not heal by Xray, but as you Chiropractors have suggested, it is usually a stable injury.

911Doctor :

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