What are the Red Flags to aid the early detection of metastatic bone disease as a cause of back pain?

(Finucane, Greenhalgh, & Selfe, 2017)

Aim: Discuss red flags.

Methods: Author’s insight

Limitations: Low level evidence, author’s opinion.

In practice: Patients with a past history of cancer that has an affinity to bone such as lung, prostate and breast cancer, who present with new symptoms that persist should be thoroughly evaluated with a high suspicion of MBD. A safety netting process of closely observing patients at risk over time is reasonable and an important consideration in effectively managing these potentially serious cases. Using knowledge of a patient’s risk of developing MBD and current red flags may help to raise a clinician’s index of suspicion and result in timely investigation and management of the patient.

Finucane, L., Greenhalgh, S., & Selfe, J. (2017, July 10). Which red flags aid the early detection of metastatic bone disease in back pain? Physiotherapy Practice and Research. https://doi.org/10.3233/PPR-170095

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