Scant evidence to support early spine imaging

Adults over the age of 65 who had diagnostic imaging within six weeks of a new primary care visit for back pain are no better off than those not sent for early scans, a JAMA-published study has found.

Of the 5,239 patients included in the study from three US health care systems, 1,174 had early radiographs and 349 had early MRI/CTs. But neither group had better functional or pain-related outcomes at 12 months than patients who did not have early scans, say the study investigators led by Dr JeffreyJarvik of the University of

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