Red Flags


Most back/neck leg or arm pain is benign [ie; no permanent or dangerous disability results from the pain].

Red Flags

Most back/neck leg or arm pain is benign [ie; no permanent or dangerous disability results from the pain]. However, there are a few situations in which the pain is a sign of serious problems which may cause permanent dysfunction or even death. Red flags refer to the subset of spinal problems or symptoms which may lead to permanent damage.

The red flags in spinal surgery include:

1. Tumors;
2. Infections;
3. Trauma [for example fractures];
4 . Direct pressure on the spinal cord;

When the above diagnosis are possible, immediate diagnostic studies and possible surgery may be required to avoid worsening of permanent injury to the spine.

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