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ask: L5 Pars Interarticularis

By Anonymous
 
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My 36 year old husband has been an off highway truck driver for 10 years. Recently he has had extreme back pain. it go to the point the he can't be on his feet for more than 15 minutes. His legs give out on him. The doctor check his reflexes in his knees and he pretty much collapsed. A Ct scan showed bilateral L5 pars interarticularis fractures. The doctors keep saying that it was a childhood injury. Problem is he was never an athlete as a child. He works 14 hours per day, 70 hours per week in a truck that had a bad seat. Since its off highway the roads are very rough and he is constantly being bounced around. Do you think it's a possibility that this injury could be cause from his job? From what we've read this injury could also be caused by overuse of your back. Is this correct? Thanks.

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Alison Beaver

From my reading, this type of fracture is said to be caused by:
- sports injury
- overuse injury

The primary method of causing this type of injury is from repeated twisting motions (think: baseball, volleyball, etc), or a genetic defect in the spine. I have not seen any indication that it could be caused directly by bouncing up and down, but it does seem logical that this much bouncing and sitting on a seat that in non-supportive could lead to some back strain or worse (I'm thinking of ergonomics in the workplace, as many workplaces offer ergonomic assessments for people who are at risk for repetitive-use injuries at the computer; same for your husband just in a different capacity). Does his company offer ergonomic assessments (or it may be called something else)?

November 23, 2010 - 12:54pm
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