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Orthopedic Case Studies of the Lumbar Spine

presented by Eric Robertson and Jodi Young

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Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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This course is part of our OCS Prep-Program. Learn more about the full prep-program here: MedBridge OCS Prep-Program.

This is a collection of three cases involving the lumbar spine presented in “rounds” style, where a resident presents the case to faculty for discussion. The cases will review differential diagnosis, examination, intervention, and prognosis for patients with various presentations of low back pain. Test items and small lectures are interspersed to help integrate concepts and highlight key content.

Meet Your Instructors

Eric Robertson, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

Eric Robertson, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, is the director of Kaiser Permanente Northern California Graduate Physical Therapy Education, and associate professor of clinical physical therapy at the University of Southern California in the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy. Previously he served as assistant professor of physical therapy at Regis University in Denver, Colorado, and…

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Jodi Young, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of North Dakota. Jodi is a board certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist through the American Physical Therapy Association and also a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy. She is currently working towards a PhD through the…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Treatment-Based Classification for Back Pain

This chapter will cover a 35-year-old male with acute low back pain who is referred for physical therapy. The pain begins in the low back on the left side and refers just proximally to the knee. Pain is high (7/10) after sitting for short periods of time, but walking and standing actually decrease the pain somewhat to a 4/10. There is some hip pain by the end of the day, but the patient feels that the symptoms are mostly located on the left side in the low back with the referral to the proximal knee region.

2. Back Problems Without Back Pain

A 22-year-old male high school football coaching assistant is referred to physical therapy for R shoulder pain that is worse with throwing a football and better with rest. The pain is rated 7/10 on the NPRS, deep and sharp in nature with throwing the football. This has been occurring for 3 years and he has seen a PT and a chiropractor during this time, but has had no resolution of symptoms. He is a former D2 football player himself, but had no major injuries while playing football beyond some general soreness during his last year. However, he saw a chiropractor four months ago for hip pain and had TMJ pain one year ago, for which he was treated by a dentist.

3. Lumbar Radiculopathy

Chapter 3 will review the case of a 25-year-old male who presented to a physical therapy clinic with complaints of acute back pain and leg symptoms. The patient was seen by a resident who wanted to present the case to their senior faculty mentors. What follows is this case presentation and conversation that ensued.

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