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B-scan ultrasonic measurement of the lumbar spinal canal as a predictor of industrial back pain complaints and extended work loss.

Authors
Battie-MC; Hansson-T; Bigos-S; Zeh-J; Fisher-L; Spengler-D
Source
J Occup Med 1993 Dec; 35(12):1250-1255
NIOSHTIC No.
00218551
Abstract
The ability of B-scan ultrasonographic measurements of spinal canal diameter to predict occupationally related back pain complaints and extended disability was examined. The study group consisted of 3,020 persons, 21 to 67 years old, employed at a Boeing aircraft factory in Washington State. The subjects were given a B-scan ultrasonographic examination that included measurements of spinal canal diameter. They were then followed for a mean of 3.7 years for reports of back pain utilizing company medical or safety department data and industrial insurance claims. The ultrasonographic measurements were examined as predictors of back pain. The ability of the data to predict extended work loss back injury claims was also examined. A total of 352 subjects reported back pain during the followup period. Mean spinal canal diameters were smaller for subjects filing back pain complaints than those without complaints. The mean differences between the two groups were very small, however, ranging from only 0.07 to 0.51 millimeter. The differences were statistically significant only for levels L3/L4, L4/L5, and L5/S1 measured from the left side. Logistic regression analysis indicated that the relative risk for reporting industrially related back pain associated with a spinal canal diameter two standard deviations below the mean value measured at the L5/S1 level was 1.4 compared with the mean value; however, the L5/S1 measurement explained less than 1% of the variance in the data. Spinal canal diameters were not significantly associated with claims for work losses of greater than 1 month. The authors conclude that B-scan ultrasonography of the lumbar spinal canal appears to be of little value for screening for industrial back pain risk.
Keywords
JOCMA7; NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Ultrasonics; Back-injuries; Clinical-techniques; Injury-prevention; Risk-analysis; Industrial-factory-workers; Occupational-medicine; Disabled-workers; Statistical-analysis
Contact
Orthopaedics University of Washington Department of Orthopaedics Seattle, Wash 98195
CODEN
JOCMA7
Publication Date
19931201
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
618340.00
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
1994
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-00982
Issue of Publication
12
ISSN
0096-1736
Priority Area
Musculoskeletal-system-disorders
Source Name
Journal of Occupational Medicine
State
WA
Performing Organization
University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
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