Epidemiologic Aspects in a Low-Back Pain Population

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The frequency and characteristics of definite lumbar scoliosis in an adult common low-back pain population (n = 671) were assessed by a clinical and radiologic prospective study. The prevalence was 7.5% [N = 50], increasing with age: 2% before 45 years; 15% after 60 years. Scoliosis was revealed by low-back pain in adult-hood in 86% of the cases. The mean Cobb angle was 21 pL 11.4o, A Cobb angle of more than 30o was noted in 16% of the scoliotics, thus 1% of the entire population. The proportion of women increased with the severity of the scoliosis. Right and left side scolioses were equally noted. A correlation between the Cobb angle and age was found (0.3o/Yr; P < 0.05). Rotatory olisthesis was noted in 34% of the cases, more often in right side curves (P < 0.01). The lumbar scoliotc patients were distinguished by a more advanced age (62 pL 12.4 Yr vs. 49.6 pL 15.5 Yr; P < 0.001), a greater proportion of women (72% vs, 48%; P < 0.01), and a more likely in volvement of L3 and L4 radicular pain (P < 0.05). Ridicular thigh pain was related to unstable curves (P < 0.01). The lumbar scoliotic patients thus constitute a subgroup within the low-back pain population.

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