MRI Evaluation of Low Back Ache Cases with Radiologic Evidence of Degenerative Lumbar Spine
MRI Evaluation of Low Back Ache
Background: Back pain is one of the leading cause of occupational disability and limiting factor in performing activities of daily living.Identifying the exact cause of low back ache is a tedious task, but is critical in planning the management of the condition. Magnetic resonance imaging is regarded as the most sensitive method in pointing out the exact pathology. Objective: To describe the MRI findings in patients with low back ache with radiologic evidence of degenerative lumbar spine. Subjects and Methods: A descriptive study was conducted among 80 patients who were sent for MRI evaluation, from Orthopedics and General Medicine department, with low back ache and radiographic evidence of degenerative changes of the lumbar spine. MRI was taken in all study subjects and the findings were noted. The data thus collected was properly coded and entered in Microsoft Excel and analysis was done using the software SPSS version 16.0. Results: Mean age of the study population was 51.46 years (SD=12.58 years and majority (73.75%) were males. Most common associated clinical findings was radicular pain syndrome (36.25%) followed by weakness of lower limbs(18.75%).MRI demonstrated following findings: dehydrative changes(86.25%), reduction in disc space(67%), disc protrusion(36.25%), disc extrusion(6%), disc bulge(56%), spondylolisthesis (18.75%),spinal stenosis(7.5%),Schmorl’s nodes(4%), hemangioma (2.5%) and vertebral body destruction (1.25%). Conclusion: Dehydrative changes and reduction of disc space were the most common MRI findings. Disc protrusion, disc extrusion as well was disc bulge was most commonly seen at L4-L5 level while spondylolisthesis was common at L5-S1 level.