Red flags to screen for malignancy and fracture in patients with low back pain

Br J Sports Med. 2014 Oct;48(20):1518. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2014-f7095rep.


Study question: What are the best red flags to indicate the possibility of fracture or malignancy in patients presenting with low back pain in primary, secondary, or tertiary care?

Summary answer: Older age, prolonged corticosteroid use, severe trauma, and presence of a contusion or abrasion increase the likelihood of spinal fracture (likelihood was higher with multiple red flags); a history of malignancy increases the likelihood of spinal malignancy.