Role of MRI and ultrasonography in evaluation of multifidus muscle in chronic low back pain patients

Poonam Vohra, Varun Pratap Kasana, R. K. Arya


Background: Low back pain (LBP) is a condition that will affect 60-80% of the population at some stage in their life. Epidemiological studies have shown that simple backache has point prevalence and a 1-month prevalence of 15-30% and 30-40% respectively. Studies that have been performed state that LBP is a self-limiting condition, but many people who have suffered from LBP will experience recurring episodes, which could lead to the development of chronic LBP. The objective of the study was to assess the role of MRI and USG in evaluating degenerative changes in multifidus muscle in chronic low back pain patients.

Methods: A Cross-sectional Observational study was done in 30 patients. Adult patients of either sex who presented with low back pain for 6 weeks or more and Grade 1 and grade 2 degenerative intervertebral disc changes as seen on plain skiagrams of L-S spine, A-P and lateral views were subjected to MRI and Ultrasound.

Results: Multifidus and paraspinal muscle atrophy and fatty degeneration should be considered in association with the clinical presentation and other abnormalities seen in MRI examination.

Conclusions: Whether LBP duration, severity and associated functional disability affect the degree of paraspinal muscle degenerative changes remains unclear. Possible reasons underlying the discrepant findings include variations among the age and symptoms of duration of the studied populations and small sample size.


Low back pain, MRI, Multifidus, Ultrasonography

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