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  • Gillianbirk
    Member
    Post count: 2

    My name is Gillian, 14 years old and I am a softball pitcher. I was at practice one night and I was getting a horrible stabbing pain in my lower left back. So, my parents took me to the doctor and had me get an x-ray and nothin came up. I got an MRI and a CAT scan and the doctor told me I either had a severe stress reaction or a very slight fracture but it was too hard to tell from the images. We went to two doctors to get different opinions. One said 2-3 months until I can play softball (which would have been early June since I hurt my back in early march. However, that doctor was just a spine specialist. We went to get another opinion from another doctor but this one is a sports medicine doctor and he said six months which would mean I could possibly play in August. My parents and I decided to take the conservative route and go with the sports medicine doctor. So I have been doing physical therapy for a while. My back stopped hurting a while ago but once in a while if I move quickly or go in an awkward position I will get a little shock like pain but it is very minor and goes away. I told my therapist this and she said it was normal. So I was just wondering how long do you think it will take for me to get back to playing and is it normal I have a little bit of pain once in a while? Please respond I have been so stressed over this because I love to play softball and plan to play through high school and hopefully college therefore it means a lot to me that I know I am going to be ok and I can stop thinking about this. Thank you for taking the time to read this and please respond.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8468

    You have had what sounds to be two reasonable specialists discuss the potential pars injury treatment to you. The answer is that these fractures or “stress reactions” can and do heal. It takes between three to six months for these to heal. I normally use a brace as you want to avoid extension exercises which load the fracture area.

    One of your docs gave you the three month window and the other gave the six month window. Waiting six months is a reasonable decision.

    If a new MRI with STIR images notes the fracture area is no longer inflamed, I allow slow progressive increasing of load to the area. Some patients will redevelop these stress reactions and those might need further intervention.

    Dr. Corenman

    Gillianbirk
    Member
    Post count: 2

    Thank you so much for the response! Do you think it’s normal that I have a little bit of pain every once in a while? My physical therapist says that it is just because I am starting to use the muscle in my back again. Just wanted to get another opinion!
    Thanks so much!

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8468

    Sharp positional pain worries me. If however, you have given it six months to heal, then “it is what it is”. Good Luck.

    Dr. Corenman

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