An adolescent 15-yr-old male competitive gymnast presented to a university-based multidisciplinary spine institute with a persistent low-back pain for 18 mos. Although the results of x-rays were negative, his pain rendered him unable to compete in his sport any longer. A computed tomography scan was performed, which showed a bilateral pars fracture at L5, without spondylolisthesis. A nuclear medicine bone scan revealed negative findings, confirming chronic nonunion. The patient completed a 4-wk course of physical therapy 6 mos before our intervention, without any relief of pain or radiologic evidence of healing. The patient was treated with a bone stimulator for 4 hrs/day and was recommended to wear a warm-and-form-type brace. Isometric core trunk exercises were also initiated. Only after 6 wks of treatment, the subject showed clinical improvement at the follow-up visit. Computed tomography scan performed 12 wks after the initial scan showed complete union of the fracture correlating with clinical improvement. Two years later, the athlete remains completely pain-free, is training regularly, and is able to compete on a national and, possibly, international level.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation|
|State||Published - Feb 1 2009|
- Back pain
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation