Choosing Wisely:

Don’t perform imaging for low back pain within the first six weeks unless red flags are present. note: Red flags include, but are not limited to, severe or progressive neurologic deficits or when serious underlying conditions such as osteomyelitis are suspected.

Rationale and Comments: Imaging of the lumbar spine before six weeks does not improve outcomes, but does increase costs. Low back pain is the fifth most common reason for all physician visits.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American College of Physicians
  • Sources:
  • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
  • Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
  • Disciplines:
  • Orthopedic
  • References: • Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
    • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

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