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Sample NPTE question #22

A physical therapist is evaluating a patient with back pain.  The examiner performs the Straight Leg Raising Test and determines that the test is positive.  Which of the following conditions is MOST likely present?


  1. Lumbar facet osteoarthritis

  2. Herniated nucleus pulposus

  3. Slipped capital femoral epiphysis

  4. Vascular intermittent claudication

The correct answer is:


  1. This would be characterized by centralized back pain with movement and would typically NOT have a positive straight leg raising test.

  2. This is the correct answer.  Herniated discs can pinch the lumbar nerve roots as they exit the spinal column.  This is the MOST likely condition present.

  3. This is a childhood disorder characterized by the femoral head slipping off the femoral neck due to fracture of the epiphysis and typically occurs in adolescent males.

  4. This is a condition involving arterial insufficiency to the tissues.  This is tested through the Treadmill Test for intermittent claudication.


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