Virtual Pediatric Hospital: Back Pain in Children: Differential Diagnosis for Back Pain in ChildrenBack Pain in Children
Differential Diagnosis for Back Pain in Children
Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed
A targeted differential diagnosis can be generated by dividing children into two age groups - prepubertal and pubertal. In prepubertal children, the differential includes infection, in the form of diskitis or osteomyelitis, or tumor of the spinal column or spinal cord. In pubertal children, the differential includes tumor of the spinal column or spinal cord, spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis, herniated disk, lumbar strain from overuse, or Scheuermann Disease.
A broad differential diagnosis can be generated using the following mnemonic:
V - vascular
I - infection, inflammation
T - trauma
A - autoimmune
M - metabolic
I - idiopathic
N - neoplasm
C - congenital
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