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Type: Journal article
Title: Back pain and leg weakness
Author: Kleinig, T.
Brophy, B.
Maher, C.
Citation: Medical Journal of Australia, 2011; 195(8):454-457
Publisher: MJA Group Australia
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 0025-729X
Statement of
Timothy J Kleinig, Brian P Brophy, Chris G Maher
Abstract: Back pain is very common; it has a point prevalence of 25% and is the third most common reason for consultation in Australian general practice. A thorough history and examination can identify the minority of patients who require urgent neuroimaging or other targeted investigations. Careful correlation of clinical and radiological findings is required when abnormal neurological findings are detected. Radiological investigations may detect abnormalities at multiple levels but cannot confirm which level is primarily responsible for a patient's symptoms. A trial of conservative treatment is appropriate, even in cases of radiculopathy. Most patients with an acute episode of back pain recover within 6-12 weeks, but at least a third go on to have a recurrent episode within 1 year. Various invasive treatments, such as transforaminal steroid injection and discectomy, may speed up recovery from radiculopathy, but the long-term benefits of invasive treatment are uncertain.
Keywords: Leg; Lumbar Vertebrae; Humans; Muscle Weakness; Low Back Pain; Radiculopathy; Diagnosis, Differential; Physical Examination; Aged; Female; Intervertebral Disc Displacement
Description: Practical neurology-3
Rights: Copyright status unknown
RMID: 0030014777
DOI: 10.5694/mja11.10992
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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