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Posted in: Spondylolisthesis.

14 year old L5-S1 PAIN

Started by rlaz on 08/22/2010 5:28pm

My 14 year old son is a fairly big kid 6'1" 185lbs and plays football --he loves it as well as basketball and wrestling. He recently experienced a back pain incident at practice that progressivly got worse through practice..he thought he had sore mucsles. A sports chiropractor loosened him up and he felt great with no pain. His coach had him take a week off as a precaution. When he returned within about 20 minutes of doing warm up drills his back started to tighten up again but not as badly so he stopped. We took him for an MRI which showed the following: L5-S1 marrow edema in the bilateral pedicles, left greater than right. No pars defect identified. Very minimal anterolisthesis of L5 on S1. No canal stenosis. Mild right neural foraminal narrowing. Intervertebral discs well maintained. No nerve root impingement seen. His doctor said we should have a bone scan done once the edema goes away to rule out microfractures and that he should rest another week maybe 2. My son is going crazy that he will miss the season or worse yet be unable to play sports again. I respect the doctors cautious approach so they can have all the information they need. Does anybody out there feel he should prepare to be told he can't play this fall so I can help him understand?

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3 Responses


Hi riaz,
I haven't been on here in awhile, just checking in today. Maybe you have seen my posts about my daughter, also 14 ("adolescent with spondylolysthesis L5S1"). i'm not familiar with marrow edema but I just want to tell you I'm so sorry your son is going through this. Most people have told us our daughter would have to take a year off from sports. She is playing soccer again 10 months after surgery and we are hoping it will continue. People may tell you, "It's just sports, not a big deal, your son can do other things." Don't listen to them and don't lose hope that your son will play sports again. It may take awhile, but he sounds like a good athlete and he will come back. I hope you get good results from the bone scan. A bone scan is what finally gave us some answers and confirmed my daughter's bilateral pars defect. Hopefully you'll at least get some answers. The good new is, if it's a small fracture, you are taking care of it right away and hopefully he will heal more quickly. good luck!


I was recently diagnosed with the same condition however with one major difference, I'm 53. I first encountered back problems in high school almost 40 years ago. During a practice basketball game, I did something to my back which caused me to fall to the ground with partial paralysis in my legs. An ambulance rushed me to the hospital where I was put in traction for a week. As best as I can recall they said I had a pinched nerve. I wore a custom brace for a year thereafter. My back has never the same since. So speaking from experience, I'd suggest you take your son to a board certified back doctor. Steroid injections may be recommended or depending on the Stage ( 1 - 4 ) surgery may be also recommended. Get second opinions and don't rush your decision. It will affect the rest of his life. Good luck to you and your son.


For anyone looking for a fairly decent website with a laymen's explanation of medical terminology, you might want to visit www.medfriendly.com There are others but just do a simple search on altavista.com, google.com or you preferred search engine. Be selective in that it's not a sales pitch website. What they do is suggest that you have the opportunity to chat with a live MD. You enter your question. They come back and say that someone in the community who is a MD has an answer. But it will cost you a small fee to see what it is. Don't fall for that one. There are plenty of places to go for free.


Here's one provided by the Social Security Administration in determining disability.

http://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/1.00-Musculoskeletal-Adult.htm#1.04 Disorders of the spine