The patient, a close friend was 52 year old male in excellent physical condition and muscular build that exercised regularly and with no genetic dispositions. He had completed a 3 year circumnavigation, on a large sailboat, is a master diver and otherwise a very healthy and active individual before lifting a 25 pound tool back while in a closed confined space that caused the ruptured disk.
An X-Ray and two MRI before the discecotomy showed no pars fracture and an MRI two weeks after the surgery showed the pars fracture. The patient had not performed any extension activity or stress that would cause the fracture, as his pain post-op prevented and physical activity and physio did not start until 1 month post-op.
When admitted for the surgery the insurance had authorized and expected to pay for a 2 day hospital stay, but the patient was told to leave the hospital only 2 hours after awaking from the procedure at the orders of the performing surgeon. The patient was in unbearable pain when he was discharged and against his request to stay the night was told that it was not necessary. The patient, then check into a hotel 1 mile from the hospital, with the same pain meds that he had been taking before the surgery. He did not see the surgeon for 2 weeks after the surgery and when he did the doctor said that the nurse had stated that he had got up after the procedure and ran out off the hospital feeling great. The patient replied that he had been run out of the hospital at which time the surgeon replied with anger and defended the actions. It had appeared that the discharge was a setup, to make it appear that the surgery was a success.
A second surgery with different doctor, fused the L4 L5 with hardware to stabilize and reported that the pars fracture was indeed caused by the previous surgeon. There is no thinning of the pars or any sign of degeneration that would lead to the pars fraction without intervention.
Two months after the fusion the patient reported bending over to pick up an onion skin off the floor when he felt a pop in the lower back and has sustained constant pain, worse than the pain that lead to the first surgery.
The pain in his lower back and right leg has been ongoing now for 3 years and his life is un-recognizable.
So the big question is; if it is it is extremely rare to break a pars during a disectomy, what happened and why did the surgeon attempt to cover his tracks if he had not known of the fracture. Is this indeed a rare event? If so are there any actual statics.
After witnessing this I am reluctant to have any back surgery what so ever.