What is the morbidity and mortality associated with mechanical back pain?

Updated: Aug 27, 2020
  • Author: Debra G Perina, MD; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Most etiologies of mechanical low back pain are not life threatening; however, significant morbidity is associated with chronic low back pain syndromes. A significant number of patients are unable to return to their normal daily routines or function in a productive work environment secondary to low back pain. [3]  Most cases of back pain treated in the emergency department are not true emergencies, with the exception of cauda equina syndrome. Patients who have cauda equina syndrome must undergo surgical decompression as soon as possible or face permanent neurologic damage.


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