Magnetic Resonance Image Findings in Radicular Low Back Pain
Keywords:Radicular low-back pain, MRI, Disc degenerative disease
Introduction: Low back pain (LBP) is the most common symptom associated with degenerative disc disease. Common causes of radicular low back pain are narrowing of the space where nerve roots exit the spine, which can be result of stenosis or disc herniation. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is the key investigation for diagnosis of radicular LBP. Objective: To find the association between radicular low back pain and MRI findings of degenerative disc disease. Materials & Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Dhaka, from January to June 2018. A total of 128 patients with LBP with or without radiculopathy were included in the study. Lumbosacral MRI was carried out in all patients.
Results: One third (34.4%) of the patients had LBP with radiculopathy. A substantial proportion (68%) of patients had history of trauma to back-bone. Majority (97.7%) of the patients had disc degeneration. Approximately 72% had nerve-root compression and over three-quarters (76.6%) had spinal canal stenosis. Radiculopathy was significantly associated with past history of trauma to the back-bone (p < 0.01) and history of loadbearing (p < 0.001). Signs of degenerative disease were evident as Modic changes in 80.5%, disc displacement in 100% and disc herniation in 75%. All degenerative lesions were predominantly found at L4/L5. Highly significant (p <0.001) association of radiculopathy with Modic changes, disc herniation, nerve root compression and spinal canal stenosis was found.
Conclusion: Signs of degenerative disc disease are significantly associated with radicular low back pain.
JAFMC Bangladesh. Vol 17, No 2 (December) 2021: 47-51