Diskography in the evaluation of low back pain

Spiros G. Pneumaticos, Charles A. Reitman, Ronald W. Lindsey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Diskography is evolving to play a crucial role in the evaluation of axial low back pain, especially in regard to surgical decision making. Despite advances in other forms of imaging, diskography remains unique in that it is the only test that seeks to provoke a pain response during the study. It has been suggested that patients with axial low back pain who experience a concordant pain response during diskography are more likely to respond favorably to surgical intervention. However, the efficacy of using this potential correlation is dependent on the technical application and interpretation. The validity of diskography remains controversial, in part because postdiskography surgical outcomes have been inconsistent. Therefore, in select patients with recalcitrant back pain, diskography remains a second-line diagnostic modality that is used to clarify surgical indications. Despite well-defined guidelines, the technical aspects of diskography and its interpretation are still evolving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-55
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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