FRACS Orthopaedic Exams


A fourteen-year-old boy presented with a sixteen-month history of low-back pain that worsened with activity. He reported no history of trauma, weight loss, fevers, chills, sweats, or night pain. He had no neurological symptoms. Prior to presentation, he had undergone chiropractic treatments that had been ineffective for pain relief and he had been seen by twelve different physicians for evaluation of his complaints. The medical and surgical histories were unremarkable. The patient was taking no medications and had a negative family history for scoliosis and other vertebral deformities. The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications had not resulted in substantial pain relief.


1. What is the natural history of this condition?
2. What treatment options exist for this young man?
3. The patient’s mother wants to know what will be done for the “curve in the spine.” What will you tell her?


Webpage Last Modified: 17 July, 2011
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