A case of bilateral lower extremity deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism as a complication of bed rest prescribed for an acute low back pain episode is presented. A 29-year-old woman with low back pain was prescribed more than 2 weeks of bed rest, during which she developed progressive bilateral lower extremity complaints that were ascribed to nerve root irritation. Her symptoms were initially treated with physical therapy and epidural steroid injections. A Doppler examination and ventilation-perfusion scan revealed extensive deep venous thromboses and mismatches consistent with pulmonary embolism. This case illustrates an unusual extraspinal source of lower extremity symptoms associated with low back pain and further supports the role of early mobilization in the treatment of back pain.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation