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Name four “red flags” in patients presenting with lower back pain. (¼ mark for each)
You suspect this patient may have cauda equina syndrome (CES).
a) What imaging modality should you request to confirm this? (½ mark)
b) List one other investigation that would be useful at this point (½ mark)
The next day you see another patient with atraumatic acute lower back pain but no red flag features. You suspect he has strained one of the muscles in his lower back.
a) What advice should you give to this patient about their level of activity over the next week? (½ mark)
b) What other advice should you give to all patients you discharge with lower back pain? (½ mark)