Red flags to screen for malignancy and fracture in patients with low back pain

Aron Downie, Christopher M. Williams, Nicholas Henschke, Mark J. Hancock, Raymond W J G Ostelo, Henrica C W de Vet, Petra Macaskill, Les Irwig, Maurits W. van Tulder, Bart W. Koes, Christopher G. Maher

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STUDY QUESTION: What are the best red flags to indicate the possibility of fracture or malignancy in patients presenting with low back pain in primary, secondary, or tertiary care?

SUMMARY ANSWER: Older age, prolonged corticosteroid use, severe trauma, and presence of a contusion or abrasion increase the likelihood of spinal fracture (likelihood was higher with multiple red flags); a history of malignancy increases the likelihood of spinal malignancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1518
Number of pages1
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014


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