Low back pain due to L5 fracture three months ago


Q: On Mar. 25, 2011, I was in an auto collision that resulted in severe contusions, broken bones and 2nd and 3rd degree burns. I still have a burn that is not completely healed and the worst break I had was the L5 vertebrae. This was completely broken in two (a clean break)with no bone fragments around the inner layers of the spinal cord. The last MRI (1 wk. ago) showed no fusing of the bone and still an "extreme amount of edema" at the L5. As long as I sit still, there is tolerable pain, but standing and walking is almost impossible because of unbearable pain. My question is this. Is this pain going to be a lifelong thing or will it improve? Bone density scan showed no osteoporosis and no arthritis


A:    The standard treatment for non-displace lumbar fractures is rest and the use of a polipropilene customized Corset for 6-8 weeks, with follow ups every 3-4 weeks to see if the bone healing process is taking effect. Hopefully after the bone healing occurs the pain will go away, that is what is expected.

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