Author(s): LaBan MM, Viola S, Williams DA, Wang AM
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Abstract Lumbosacral pain is a significant complaint in approximately one-half of all pregnancies. In 15\%, the pain can be disabling. Although the mechanical and positional stresses of pregnancy have been cited as the primary source of this discomfort, in approximately 1:10,000 cases a herniated lumbar disc (HNP) can be identified as the proximal cause of pain. A 35-yr-old G4AB3PO patient presenting at 10 wk of pregnancy with severe incapacitating lumbar radiculopathy is described. Magnetic resonance imaging, selected by the patient as a diagnostic option, demonstrated a clinically suspected large midline HNP at the L5-S1 level. In the past, visualizing the presence of a HNP during pregnancy by either computerized axial tomography scan or myelography has exposed the fetus to ionizing radiation. However, magnetic resonance imaging now permits a more detailed evaluation without similar x-ray exposure. To date, no recognized biologic effect of MRI on the developing fetus has been reported. Although the long-term effects of an magnetic resonance imaging on the developing fetus have not been conclusively evaluated, its potential for accurate diagnosis and subsequent patient management, as well as planning the delivery, appears to outweigh any recognized hazard to the developing fetus.
This article was published in Am J Phys Med Rehabil
and referenced in Journal of Novel Physiotherapies