Most low back MRI referrals show abnormalities

 Most low back MRI referrals show abnormalities


Just read today this interesting article on imaging using MRI scanners and looking at those who are referred for them when suffering with low back pain.

Nearly ALL patients who have low back pain and are referred by their GP for an MRI are shown to have prolapsed discs. The referring criteria was suspicion of serious pathology or patients who have severe sciatica for who surgery is indicated because they are failing to respond to conservative treatment over 6 to 8 weeks.

This study was done in the Netherlands and it shows that if it comes to it and you are referred then the likely findings (72%) will be herniated disc often with nerve root compression.  Spondilolithesis is  18%, 13% is spinal stenosis, 37 is fracture and 0.3% is discitis.

This  considers the biomedical model where a diagnosis is made using these type of techniques. As MSK experts we would take the biomedical model in to consideration but we would also consider many other factors. The biomedical model does not indicate treatment

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