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Radiology. 1984 Apr;151(1):89-90.

Oblique lumbar spine radiographs: importance in young patients.


Spondylolysis is a direct precursor of spondylolisthesis and can lead to crippling back pain. Of 1,743 patients surveyed, including 936 who were asymptomatic and 807 with back pain, 165 (including 91 who were asymptomatic and 74 with back pain) had spondylolysis, which was seen only on oblique lumbar views in 20% of cases. Because of the high false-negative rate of AP and lateral views, oblique views are essential in children and young adults. As spondylolysis is rare above L3, radiographs can be limited to L3-S1. Significantly less spondylolysis was seen in persons older than 30, with back pain usually caused by disk degeneration; thus routine oblique views could be safely omitted in older patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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