Intended for healthcare professionals

Endgames Spot Diagnosis

A woman with lower back pain

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 16 March 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j1117
  1. Tobenna J Oputa, CT2 trauma and orthopaedics,
  2. Jamie A’Court, ST4 trauma and orthopaedics
  1. Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Oldham, UK
  1. Correspondence to T Oputa Tobi{at}

A 52 year old woman presented with a two day history of lower back pain that was radiating into her left leg with weakness in that leg. She had a history of chronic back pain. Neurological examination revealed reduced power in her left leg of 3/5, but was otherwise normal. Based on a magnetic resonance image (MRI) of her lumbosacral spine (fig 1) what is the most likely cause of this woman’s back pain?

Fig 1 Mid-sagittal T2 weighted lumbosacral spine magnetic resonance imaging scan


Disc prolapse at …

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