Association Between Clinical Findings and Lumbar Spine Osteoarthritis Imaging Features
Low back pain is frequently labelled as ‘nonspecific’ in nature, which is diagnosed by the exclusion of specific underlying causes through a history and physical examination. However, among patients with nonspecific low back pain, there may be subgroups of individuals experiencing symptomatic spinal osteoarthritis.
Unlike osteoarthritis involving peripheral joints such as the knee and hip, there are no diagnostic criteria for spinal osteoarthritis. This prompted a 2021 Delphi study which attempted to reach an international consensus on the definition(s) of spinal osteoarthritis. In that study, a high proportion of agreement was found for the statement: “separate definitions for structural and symptomatic spinal osteoarthritis are needed” for both research and clinical practice. As well, consensus was reached on clinical features suggestive of symptomatic spinal osteoarthritis which included spinal pain duration, spinal pain intensity, limitations in physical functioning and self-reported spinal morning stiffness.
Three systematic reviews have previously investigated the association between clinical findings and spinal osteoarthritis on imaging, however limitations exist as they only evaluated structural changes on radiographs, focused on younger patients, or only included Modic changes. Currently, there is no systematic review that has investigated the association of clinical features suggestive of symptomatic spinal osteoarthritis with imaging features on lumbar radiographs, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans. Therefore, this systematic review aimed to determine the association between clinical findings and imaging features that are potential indicators for lumbar spinal osteoarthritis in patients with low back pain.
RESEARCH REVIEW: Association Between Clinical Findings and Lumbar Spine Osteoarthritis Imaging Features
This paper was published in Osteoarthritis & Cartilage (2023).
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