European spine journal : official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society
A study was undertaken to analyse the prevalence of low back pain (LBP) and confounding factors in primary school children in the city of Antwerp. A total of 392 children aged 9 were included in the study. All children completed a validated three-page questionnaire and they all underwent a specific lumbar spine oriented medical examination during their annual routine medical school control. ⋯ The visual analogue scales concerning general well-being were all very significantly correlated with self-reported LBP, with children who reported LBP being more tired, less happy, and worse sleepers. Of the 19 clinical parameters taken down during the medical examination, only one was significantly more prevalent in the group of children reporting LBP: pain on palpation at the insertion site on the iliac crest of the ilio-lumbar ligament. From this study we can establish that there are few clinical signs that can help to single out school children with LBP.
Long-term exposure to whole-body vibration is known to increase the risk of low back problems. The chain of events leading from repeated loading of the lumbar spine to back complaints and the exact nature of the vibration-induced damage are, however, obscure. Fluid in- and outflow as well as viscoelastic deformation are important aspects of the physiological function of the lumbar disc. ⋯ Likewise, MRI examinations revealed no significant differences in the water content of the discs averaged over the lumbar spine. In addition, QCT examinations revealed no significant difference in the trabecular bone density of the third lumbar vertebra. The study thus revealed no significant difference between a cohort with long-term exposure and non-exposed controls with respect to viscoelastic properties of discs as determined by stadiometry, average water content of lumbar discs and trabecular bone density of L3.
Randomized Controlled Trial Clinical Trial
Peridural fibrosis developing after laminectomy may cause pain that can necessitate reoperation. Many materials have been used as a barrier to invasion of fibrous tissue into the vertebral canal, but the ideal material has not been found. Various studies in animals have achieved favourable results with an expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) membrane. ⋯ Significantly more seromas occurred in the ePTFE group (P = 0.0002). There were no infections or other complications in either group. The results showed that placement of an ePTFE spinal membrane over the laminectomy defect produced by lumbar spine surgery provided a physical barrier to invasion of fibrous tissue into the vertebral canal, and patients with the membrane had less postoperative radicular pain.
Lifting restrictions postoperatively are quite common but there appears to be little scientific basis for them. Lifting restricitions are inhibitory in terms of return to work and may be a factor in chronicity. The mean changes in functional spinal motion unit (FSU) stiffness with in vitro or computer-simulated discectomies, facetectomies and laminectomies were reviewed from the literature. ⋯ The adjusted NIOSH guidelines provide a reasonable way to estimate weight restrictions and accomodations such as lifting aids. Such resitrictions should be as liberal as possible so as to facilitate, not prevent, return to work. Patients need more advice regarding lifting activities and clinicians should be more knowledgeable about the working conditions and constraints of a given workplace to effectively match the solution to the patient's condition.
Comparative Study Clinical Trial
A group of 44 patients with idiopathic scoliosis (mean age 13.6 years) with an initial Cobb angle between 20 degrees and 32 degrees received side-shift therapy (mean treatment duration 2.2 years). A group of 120 brace patients (mean age 13.6 years) with an initial Cobb angle in the same range (mean brace treatment 3.0 years) was the historical reference group. ⋯ The difference in the mean progression of the Cobb angle for the respective groups is small (for efficiency: 3 degrees vs -2 degrees, for efficacy: 2 degrees vs -1 degrees ). Side-shift therapy appears to be a promising additional treatment for idiopathic scoliosis in adolescents with an initial Cobb angle between 20 degrees and 32 degrees.