T Nation

Update: Fractured Vertebrae


Hey guys. Just wanted to keep you informed on my previous injury. I went to the orthopedist this afternoon and got some follow up x-rays. The stress fracture in my L4-L5 vertebrae is healed and I have been cleared to participate in physical activity again. However, I am taking the conservative approach and waiting until I complete physical therapy (another 2-4 weeks) to return to lifting full time. I plan to start out slow and then be able to start working back to where I was last spring by new year's. Being 16, I healed much faster than most people, partially because of all the milk I drink :). On the contrary, my doctor told me that I can no longer squat or military press. I say, "bullshit." I plan on competing soon and you need to squat in order to be considered a powerlifter. I'm not sure when a good time to return to squatting is so that is one of the reasons I come to T-Nation today. I was hoping that someone could give me some insight on when to return to squatting and what rehab and assistance exercises will help me squat safely and without risk of re-injury (which I am sure that there will always be a risk). Thanks.



Fuck yeah man! And if you end up breaking your back again with some paralysis you can always compete in power curl competitions from a wheel chair. Bad ass.


Thanks bro. I'll do anything to be able to lift and play football again.


The doctor cleared you for football but said you could NEVER squat again? That sounds like ignorance to me. Being hit from behind will force your back into extension and put way more stress on that vertebra than a PROPERLY performed squat.


I know. My form isn't immaculate but I think it's pretty damn good. I get wide, force my knees out, flex my lower back, grip the bar as hard as I can, flex my traps, etc. I'm not saying that I actually KNOW how to squat. And personally, I don't think my doctor has ever squat a day in his life.


Good to hear buddy. Speaking from experience, injuries like this are awesome. They seperate the people who talk shit from the people that do shit. Keep at it. You'll be twice as strong as you were pre-injury before you know it just from sheer pissed-off-ness because you couldnt lift heavy weights for a few months.


personally, I would ease back into the squat by using a standard periodization. Just to re-introduce the feeling of a heavy squat over the course of several weeks. I think that would be a sufficiently safe, but effective method.


I had a similar thing happen, not sure which vertebrae as I was 12 and never bothered to check, I just knew that it hurt. Either way I squatted 595 for speed weight this morning no problem.

I would take what a doctor says with a grain of salt. Last time I went to a doctor I was told that I had torn my rotator cuff. I argued with him because the pain was not coming from from the shoulder but the clavicle, his answer was that the body is tricky like that. He was a dipshit so I called back and got someone to schedule and MRI and low and behold no tear.

Be smart with your training and you will be just fine.


thanks for the advice. I won't be lifting for another 2-4 weeks as a result of me deciding to hold off a little until i'm done with physical therapy. doctor cleared me, but i'm gonna take the high road. i just wanna get some advice so im not freaking out the day before i start squatting again.