Design: Retrospective analysis of radiology reports from a chiropractic radiology consultancy.
Setting: Private chiropractic radiology practice.
Patients/Participants: All lumbar spine radiograph reports from a chiropractic radiology consulting practice over the course of one year were reviewed and the diagnoses were noted. 276 reports were reviewed and 262 were included in the study. Reports were included if they had definitive diagnoses, contained all relevant clinical information such as patient age, and reported on the lumbar spine only (e.g. full spine and thoracolumbar reports were excluded).
Main Outcome Measures: The types of pathology and number of times each was encountered were entered on to a spreadsheet and totaled by type and category. Results: Postural alterations and degenerative arthropathies were the most common pathologies encountered. The most serious pathologies encountered included two patients with tumours, three with acute compression fractures, 31 with osteoporosis and 80 with atherosclerosis. Seven patients with potentially significant findings were lost to follow up.
Conclusions: This study was limited by convenience sampling and small sample size, however some indication of the types of pathologies that chiropractors find on their images was obtained. Improved communication between manual therapy practitioners and the medical community would benefit all parties involved, including patients.
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