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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 28-34

Correlations of radiographic findings in patients with low back pain

Department of Radiology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin, Edo, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
B. O. E Igbinedion
Department of Radiology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin, Edo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 21969104

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Background: Low back pain can cause severe debilitating pain that may lead to loss of productivity. The pain is usually non-specific and imaging request protocols varies. However, physicians may order lumbo-sacral x-ray in the initial radiologic assessment of the patient. This study aims to determine the frequency of occurrence of radiographic findings in patients reporting low back pain including the presence of osteophytes, spondylolisthesis and degenerative disc diseases and determine the relationship with patients' features including age, sex, marital status, level of education, body mass index and other radiographic findings. Method: Patients who presented at our department for radiographic assessment of the lumbo-sacral spine were voluntarily recruited. Their radiographs were reviewed and questionnaire administered. Height and weight were measured. The radiographic findings were documented and data analysis using Chi square with significant level set at p < 0.05. Result: Lumbo-sacral x-rays of 337 patients were reviewed with more females than males, ratio 1:1.4. Osteophytes were demonstrable in 73.6%; spondylolisthesis, 13.4%; and disc degeneration, 28.2%. Disc degeneration correlated with age, educational status, osteophytosis, osteopenia and spondylolisthesis. Osteophytosis correlated with age, BMI and educational level. While spondylolisthesis correlated with educational level and sex. Conclusion: Osteophytosis was the commonest finding in patients presenting with LBP. Disc degeneration shows a strong association with osteophytosis and spondylolisthesis and it is reported to herald these changes. Radiography still shows some correlations between the findings in LBP and patients' characteristics.

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