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Virtual Pediatric Hospital: Back Pain in Children: How to Interpret Plain Films of the Lumbar Spine Back Pain in Children

How to Interpret Plain Films of the Lumbar Spine

Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed


1. On the AP view, count the number of lumbar-type vertebral bodies - there should be five.
2. On the AP view, check to see if the pedicles of the vertebral bodies are intact or destroyed.
3. On the AP view, check the SI joints to see if they are narrowed 4. On the Lateral view, check the intervertebral disk spaces to see if they are preserved or narrowed.
5. On the Lateral view, check the vertebral bodies to see if their height is preserved.
6. On the Lateral view, check the alignment of the vertebral bodies.

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