The treatment for a pars fracture is initially nonsurgical and includes rest and bracing.
The fracture can be assessed with a series of X-rays every few months.
However, an injury can occur too quickly for the vertebra to be repaired, and this leads to a crack in the pars.
The crack may affect only one side, but it is not uncommon to have fractures on both sides of the vertebra.
The spinal cord is protected by rings of bone that make up the middle and posterior (rear) portion of the spinal column.
In each of these rings, the pars interarticularis (or simply "pars" for short) connects other components of the ring, known as the pedicle and lamina.This involves injecting chemical "tracers" into the blood stream. The tracers collect in areas of increased metabolism or cell activity in bone tissue, such as would be seen in areas of a stress fracture of the pars interarticularis.A CT scan may be used to evaluate a pars defect and to visualize healing bone, while an MRI may be useful to assess the surrounding tissue and condition of the disc.Bracing can last for 3 to 4 months while the fracture heals, and physical therapy can also be included to maintain and help strengthen the abdominal and back muscles with specific directed exercises.If the athlete has persistent pain after nonsurgical treatment, surgery may be required.Specifically, this is common in offensive and defensive linemen.The vertebra initially responds to increased physical strain of such activity by gradually adding new bone cells around the stressed area of the spine.Evaluation for this condition would include a review of the patient’s medical history and a physical exam, followed by X-rays, which can detect pars fractures.A bone scan can be used for early detection of a stress fracture of the pars.These are separate but sometimes related conditions.Spondylolysis is a spinal fracture of a bone structure called the pars interarticularis, which connects the facet joints of the spine.