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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 78-85

Assessment of various lumbosacral spine abnormalities on magnetic resonance imaging scans of patients with low back pain

1 Department of Radiology, College of Medical Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Medicine, College of Medical Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Bello O Usman
Department of Radiology, College of Medical Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/phmj.phmj_7_20

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Background: Low back pain (LBP) is a cardinal sign of many lumbosacral spine abnormalities. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has revolutionised the management of LBP through precise diagnosis and accurate definition of the extent of the problem. Aim: This study was carried out to determine the lumbosacral spine abnormalities on MRI scans of patients with LBP. Methods: The prospective study was conducted within 4 years at the MRI suite of the Department of Radiology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria. This study included 200 patients who had LBP on whom MRI scan was performed. All MRI scans were done with permanent magnet 0.2 T 'open' MRI unit. The images were stored in a computer and subsequently viewed on the screen. Results: The MRI findings of 200 patients involved in the study showed that more males (124 [62%]) were affected than females (76 [38%]). The age of the patients ranged from 11 to 80 years, with a mean of 47.8 (standard deviation 1.4). The peak incidence of LBP was (55 [27.5%]) in the fourth and fifth decade of life. Majority of the patients (172 [86%]) had intervertebral disc prolapse/herniation. Thecal sac, spinal cord (at L1/L2 only) and cauda equina were compressed in 159 (92.4%), 4 (2.3%) and 73 (42.3%) patients, respectively. Compression of multiple structures in the spinal canal was seen in 64 (37%) patients. Conclusion: MRI examination has improved the management of patients with LBP, and the results obtained from this study will assist clinicians to quantitatively evaluate patients with LBP.

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