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Magn Reson Imaging Clin N Am. 1999 Aug;7(3):481-91, viii.

Degenerative disc disease and back pain.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, USA.


Although MR imaging has become the most accurate test for depicting abnormal morphology, there is no agreement on the diagnostic value of morphology alone. If the natural history of a disease is not clearly understood, and if there is little consensus, within or between specialties, regarding the use of diagnostic tests, the risk of misdiagnosis is high. Degenerative disc disease is costly, debilitating, and one of the most complex conditions to manage. This article discusses symptomatology, including instability and malalignment abnormalities, intervertebral disc degeneration or herniation, spinal stenosis, and facet disease, as treated in a variety of current studies; emphasis is placed on bridging the gaps between technology, areas that deserve further research, and sound clinical judgement.

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