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Last Tuesday my 15 year old injured himself in a soccer game he was doing a move called the bicycle where you jump way up in the air and kick the ball behind you. He came down hard on his left lower back and had immediate pain and had to be helped off the field. I took him home and put ice on it and the next morning we went to his doctor. They did several xrays and said they did not see a break but could not get very clear pictures because of the swelling. They gave us pain meds and said to ice for two more days then use heat and to come back in two weeks if not better. I am thinking of taking him some where else. It has been a week today. It is a constant bad ache but when he bends to sit down or stand up he get a sharp stabbing pain that makes he cry out sometimes. He says it hurts bad. The pain is along the lower left side of his spine. I am afraid there is something broken. My Husband thinks we should wait it out and see in a week but I hate seeing him in pain!! I don't know if I am overreacting or if my mommy instincts are right and we need a second opinion. What could be going on? Is there something else I can do to make him more comfortable?

Answer
Hi, Leah,

It is unlikely that a bone is broken.  It is very likely that with this falling, flexing injury he has injured some of the muscles or supporting ligaments of the spine/back.  An XR image should not be affected by swelling in the soft tissues.

Rest, Motrin three times a day, generally 600mg dose for this age child, heat will make this better.  If not, then I would see a physical therapist to get him started on some rehab.  Again, a normal XRay is not 100%, but really pretty close to ruling out a fracture.

Good luck, Dr. Olson

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David Olson, MD

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I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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