Pars Defect Injection

Frequently Asked Questions about Pars Defect Injection

Section 1

Pars Defect is also known as Spondylosis. The pars interarticularis portion of the lower back is where this degeneration or injury is located.

How is it caused?

Over the years the spine is damaged because of its use. Conditions like osteoarthritis, degenerative disk disease, and spinal stenosis can cause spinal deterioration.

What are the risk factors?

There are some factors that can increase a patient’s chances of developing issues with their spine which include a traumatic injury like a fall at work or an auto accident, tumors, repetitive physical stress, obesity, or a genetic predisposition. One of the main factors is age. As people get older, they experience more and more events that can cause a deterioration in their spine leading to Pars Defect.

What are some symptoms?

The symptoms ultimately depend on the condition that is causing the issue but there are two main kinds of symptoms which are localized and radiating. Localized symptoms are located to the problem area and usually only produce pain around that area. It can cause dull pain, a feeling of instability, and limited movement. Radiating symptoms will affect other areas in the body where the nerves in the spine are affected by other issues. These symptoms include numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness. It can affect the limbs and cause them to ache.

How can Pars Defect Injections help?

The patient is first sedated for the procedure and then the injection site is cleaned. A live x-ray will be used to guide a needle to the pars defect. A small amount of corticosteroid along with a local anesthetic are then inserted through the use of the tiny needle.

What are the risks?

This procedure is very safe. Some patients experience some discomfort but this is fleeting. There is a risk of infection, bleeding, or injuries to the nerve and surrounding membranes.

How long will the patient have to stay at the procedure center?

The patient will only need to stay in the procedure center until they have recovered from the sedation. When the patient wakes up and is able to move around, he or she will be allowed to go home. This is usually within a few hours after the injection. The recommendation is that patients do not drive and that they keep the activity to a minimum for around 24 hours after being sedated.

When can the patient resume normal activity?

It is recommended that the patient be off of work for at least 48 hours after the procedure. They should also refrain from operating heavy machinery and take it easy. If the patients is still experiencing discomfort, it is a sign that they are not ready to resume full activities and should refrain from such activities and also refrain from returning to work until the discomfort subsides.

When should I follow up?

Patients should get an appointment to follow up on their procedure within two to three months after the procedure.

References:

Wald, J. T., Geske, J. R., Diehn, F. E., Murthy, N. S., Kaufmann, T. J., Thielen, K. R., & … Maus, T. P. (2014). Spine Section: A Practice Audit of CT-Guided Injections of Pars Interarticularis Defects in Patients with Axial Low Back Pain: A Primer for Further Investigation. Pain Medicine, 15745-750. doi:10.1111/pme.12344

Wald, J. T., Geske, J. R., Diehn, F. E., Murthy, N. S., Kaufmann, T. J., Thielen, K. R., & … Maus, T. P. (2014). A Practice Audit of CT-Guided Injections of Pars Interarticularis Defects in Patients with Axial Low Back Pain: A Primer for Further Investigation. Pain Medicine, 15(5), 745-750. doi:10.1111/pme.12344