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Role of Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) Scan in the Diagnosis of Chronic Low Back Pain – a Prospective Randomized Controlled Study in Osteoporotic Patients Hospitalized in a Tertiary Care Institute
Objectives: Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder characterized by a decrease in bone mass, with accompanying microarchitectural damage that increases the risk of bone fracture. The aim of this study is to evaluate various risk factors for osteoporosis and the role of DEXA scan in diagnosing the problem in an earlier stage.
Materials and methods: About 100 patients who presented with complaint of low back pain in our outpatient department were studied and subjected to a DEXA scan.
Results: The age range of patients included in this study was between 35 and 70 years. Of all subjects, 85.10% (n=57) were females and 78.80% (n=26) males. The number of those with significant medical or surgical history was 31% (n=31). The anthropometric characteristics of the studied group included weight, height, and also BMI in kg/m2, which was 20.23, 21.06 in male subjects and 19.343, 20.42 in female ones.
Regarding DEXA measurements, the bone mineral density was 0.97±0.27 (0.48, 1.96) for males and 0.83±0.21(0.01, 1.60) for females, with a total of 0.88±0.24 (0.01, 1.96).
Conclusion: Low back pain is highly prevalent in postmenopausal women. DEXA is a widely accepted radiological tool used to detect osteoporotic changes in bones earlier, with a higher accuracy than plain radiographs of skeletal system. It is relatively cheap, needs no special preparation and involves less radiation hazard.
Keywords: osteoporosis, DEXA scan, fracture, low back pain