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PAFMJ. 2015; 65(0): S213-S217


LUMBAR SPINE RADIOGRAPHY: ARE WE OVERRADIATING THE PATIENTS?

Saerah Iffat Zafar, Asmat Abbas Shah, Umar Fayyaz Ghani, Aasma Nudrat Zafar.

Abstract
Objective: To determine whether lumbar spinal radiography significantly alters the management in patients with low back ache, particularly in the absence of serious spinal disease indicators.
Study Design: Case series.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Radiology, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Hospital, Islamabad. November 2010 to January 2014.
Material and Methods: A total of 886 patients who were sent to the department for lumbar spine radiography in 38 months (from November 2010 to January 2014) were included in the study. Their age, gender, referring physician, and findings were recorded. The data was computed on SPSS version 20 and the results were compiled as descriptive statistics.
Results: Patients having no radiographic abnormality to mild degenerative changes comprised 81% (n=718) of the total. Serious spinal disease or management altering radiographic findings were positive in a minority of patients at 29.7% (n=264).
Conclusion: Lumbar spine radiography without serious indicators of clinical spinal disease is not significantly altering the management in majority of patients with low backache.

Key words: Back ache, Degenerative changes, Lumbar spine, Radiation.



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