Low Back Pain Protocol Tony Magana MD Professor in Neurosurgery Neurosurgical Unit, Department of Surgery, College of Health Sciences Chief Medical Specialist for Ethiopia in Neurosurgery Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital July 2016 Introduction: Worldwide back pain remains one of the leading complaints leading patients to see doctors. Although the vast majority of adult sufferers of low back pain harbor a benign problem that will not require surgery or lead to significant disability there are some which are much more serious. Additionally, some patients who claim a work injury or accident where there is litigation present a challenge to the physician in assessment. This guideline deals with adult patients who present with low back pain not involved with immediate trauma. It is intended for use by general practioners, interns, primary care residents, outlying clinics and Mekelle University clinics, and referring hospitals to help guide appropriate management of this large patient population. It can be used as a teaching tool for medical students, nursing students, health officers, physical therapy students, and others. More than 95% of patients with low back pain should be able to be managed by primary care physicians so that few actually need surgical consultation. The main intent of this protocol is to help prepare primary care providers for this role and understand when further investigation and referral is necessary. This protocol was reviewed by senior faculty of the College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University including general surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, internal medicine, and radiology. Special thanks to Dr. Senay Aregawi, neurologist at Mekelle, and Dr. David Clifford, neurologist at Washington University Medical School in the United States, for their comments and suggestions.
Low Back Pain Protocol, Mekelle College of Health Sciences, Professor Tony Magana