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A Prospective study on correlation of symptom complex and MRI findings in Lumbar disc prolapse

Girish Muppala,Sudhakaran Mankickam,Vijaya Karthikeyan,Murali SM.

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Background: Lumbar disc herniation is one of the common causes of low back pain throughout the world. Abnormalities detected in MRI do not always reflect low back pain, so these should be interpreted with consideration of thorough history and physical examination. Therefore, clinical correlation is required to delineate the importance of abnormalities in MRI.
Materials and Methods: The study was a Prospective study conducted from 2015 to 2017 in the patients coming to our tertiary care centre. We selected patients with lumbar disc herniation confirmed with MRI to find out correlation of clinical features and MRI findings in determining the level of lumbar disc herniation. MRI findings analysed were level of disc herniation, position and type of disc herniation, neural canal compromise.
Results: Out of the 102 patients studied, 44 had specific dermatomal distribution and 58 had non-specific distribution. Out of 139 levels of disc herniation, 62 levels showed disc bulge, 46 showed protrusion, 27 showed extrusion and 4 levels were with sequestration. Out of 139 levels of disc herniation, 42 levels had motor deficits. Conclusion: There is a good correlation between clinical findings and MRI findings. Disc bulge/protrusion/extrusion with central presentation was not significantly correlating with clinical features. But, independent of type of herniation, if there is para-central/far lateral position of disc with neural foramen compromise, there was significant correlation with clinical features.

Key words: magnetic resonance imaging, lumbar disc herniation, low back ache

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