The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
KA devised the two tests and performed the validation study of the interspinous gap change. HJJ performed the validation study of the low midline sill sign, analysed the data and wrote the manuscript. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Lumbar spondylolisthesis (LS) and lumbar instability (LI) are common disorders in patients with low back or lumbar radicular pain. However, few physical examination tests for LS and LI have been reported. In the study described herein, new physical examination tests for LS and LI were devised and evaluated for their validity. The test for LS was designated “low midline sill sign”, and that for LI was designated “interspinous gap change” during lumbar flexion-extension motion.
The validity of the low midline sill sign was evaluated in 96 patients with low back or lumbar radicular pain. Validity of the interspinous gap change during lumbar flexion-extension motion was evaluated in 73 patients with low back or lumbar radicular pain. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of the two tests were also investigated.
The sensitivity and specificity of the low midline sill sign for LS were 81.3% and 89.1%, respectively. Positive and negative predictive values of the test were 78.8% and 90.5%, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of the interspinous gap change test for LI were 82.2% and 60.7%, respectively. Positive and negative predictive values of the test were 77.1% and 68.0%, respectively.
The low midline sill sign and interspinous gap change tests are effective for the detection of LS and LI, and can be performed easily in an outpatient setting.
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- New physical examination tests for lumbar spondylolisthesis and instability: low midline sill sign and interspinous gap change during lumbar flexion-extension motion
- BioMed Central
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