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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 212-217

Low back pain as seen in orthopedic clinics of a Nigerian Teaching Hospital


1 Department of Surgery, Federal Teaching Hospital, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Ebonyi, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
N I Omoke
Department of Surgery, Federal Teaching Hospital, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki 480001, Ebonyi
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1119-3077.175964

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Background: Low back pain is not a specific disease though a common health concern worldwide. There is regional variation in its etiology and patterns of presentation. In West African sub-region, there are very limited data on this important aspect of low back pain. Objective: We aimed to determine the etiology and pattern of presentation of low back pain among patients seen in our orthopedic outpatient clinics. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective review of database of all new patients with low back pain seen at the orthopedics clinics of Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki between 2003 and 2013. Results: There were 2914 new patients seen in the orthopedic clinics –291 (10%) of them presented with low back pain. The female to male ratio was 1:1.04 and the mean age was 45.8 ± 1.67 years. The mechanical low back pain was involved in 82.1% of the patients, and the incidence was significantly higher in females than males (53.1% vs. 46.9%, P < 0.003). The males were significantly more afflicted than females by pain from spinal infections (58.3% vs. 41.7%) and tumors (92.3% vs. 7.7% P <0.003). Low back pain associated with radiculopathy was observed in 75 (25.7%) patients and the incidence was significantly higher in the married than the singles (30.2% vs. 13.9%, P < 0.005). Lifting of heavy object was the most common predisposing factor of low back pain. Hypertension and peptic ulcer disease were two top medical co-morbidities while osteoarthritis of hip and knee was the most common associated musculoskeletal disorders. Conclusion: Low back pain of mechanical origin (recurrent and chronic in a significant proportion of patients) is predominant in our environment. This pattern calls for prevention as well as the early and appropriate care of the patient with low back pain.


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