Evaluating Low Back Pain Patients for Prolapsed Interverbral Disc in a Kenyan Teaching Hospital


Authors: Ongeti K, BSc, MBChB1, Ogeng’o J, BSc, MBChB, PhD1., Correspondence and reprints requests: Dr. Kevin

Ongeti, 1-Department of Human anatomy, University of Nairobi PO Box 30197 00100 Nairobi. Email: kongeti@yahoo.com



Accurate evaluation of low back pain is essential for its rational manage-ment. The extent of use of clinical and imaging findings in identification of prolapsed intervertebral disk varies between centers. In Kenya, the diagnostic procedure is obscure.



To assess the evaluation of low back pain patients for prolapsed inter-vertebral disk at Kenyatta National Hospital, a teaching and referral hospital in Kenya.


Study Design

A retrospective chart study


Patients and Methods

Historical, physical and imaging findings of patients who presented with low back pain and subsequently diagnosed with prolapsed inter-vertebral disk between Jan 1997 and December 2007 were evaluated.


Of the six hundred and three patients (267 males, 336 females) who were evaluated, risk factors were recorded in 39.5% patients, 35.3% patients had sciatica while straight leg raising test was performed in

52.2% patients. Investigations performed in these patients included plain roentograms (38.5%), CT scan (9.1%) and MRI (44.1%).



The evaluation of low back pain for prolapsed inter-vertebral disk was incomplete. History of sciatica, SLRT, crossed SLRT and MRI use are recommended for routine evaluation of low back pain for PID.


The Annals of African Surgery is the official publication of the Surgical Society of Kenya.


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