I was told my back pain is caused by pars defects at two levels in my low back. What are my options for treatment?
The pars defects are likely due to stress fractures. While they likely will not heal on their own, they are not always a source of pain. When painful, conservative care such as physical therapy, medications, or bracing may be helpful. If surgery is recommended, there are 2 major types of surgeries that are usually done. One is direct repair of the facet joints with wire and bone grafting to support the fractures. The other is fusion of the segments in the lumbar spine that are involved. There are advantages and disadvantages of each type of surgery. Return to previous level of activity may be more likely following surgery than with conservative care.