Background and Objective: Low back pain is one of the most important health problems. Disk herniation is one of the common causes of low back pain. Accurate examination is the best and simplest diagnostic methods. Physical examination, Straight leg raise (SLR) and neurologic tests as well as other tests are usually used to locate the exact place of herniation. Paraclinical studies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) should be used because of the low diagnostic efficiency of physical examination.
Methods: 100 patients attended the emergency unit because of back pain or radicular pain, were enrolled in the study. SLR, Reverse- SLR (R-SLR) and Crossed-SLR (C-SLR) tests were performed for all patients. Then, the patients were referred to the neurosurgery unit for treatment. Lumbar MRI was taken for all patients. Then, all patients were followed up and these data were collected.
Results: Sensitivity and specificity of SLR test, C-SLR, and R-SLR tests was 77.52% and 36.36%, 29.21% and 90.9%, and 88.89% and 10.94%, respectively. There was no significant relationship between MRI and positive discopathy in the physical examination and SLR (P=0.11).
Conclusion: SLR test has high sensitivity and low specificity. If the SLR test was accompanied by with physical examination the resulting sensitivity and specificity will increase. Findings of this study showed that SLR test has more sensitivity, while C-SLR has more specificity in low back pain diagnosis.
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