Radiology ReviewApril, 2009
A 61-year-old woman is transferred from a local long-term acute care facility to your hospital for evaluation of severe back pain. She was at the long-term care center recovering from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus sepsis, for which she required a lengthy ICU stay and prolonged mechanical ventilation with subsequent tracheostomy and gastrostomy tube placement. Medical history is significant for diabetes, hypertension, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Physical examination shows a frail woman in no obvious distress. Her vital signs are normal. She does have moderate palpable tenderness in the lumbar spine, as well as some prominence in the left paraspinous area. She is able to move all of her extremities and, despite being deconditioned, is neurologically intact. Radiograph of the lumbar spine is shown.