Side of symptomatic annular tear and site of low back pain: is there a correlation?

C. W. Slipman, R. K. Patel, L. Zhang, E. Vresilovic, D. Lenrow, C. Shin, R. Herzog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective chart review. OBJECTIVES: To report the correlation between the side of a concordantly painful, post-discography computer tomography (CT) visualized, annular tear, and the side of a patients' low back pain. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: An annular fissure extending from the nucleus to the outer one-third of the annulus is thought to be the nociceptive source stimulated during provocative lumbar discography. To our knowledge, there are no studies that have attempted to delineate whether the side of the annular tear correlates with the side of the patient pain. METHODS: One hundred and one post-discography CT scans, performed on patients with single level, concordantly painful, and fissured discs identified during lumbar discography, were randomly obtained from the archived and current files of the Penn Spine Center's film library. These were reviewed by both the lead author and a spine radiologist, both of who were blinded to the side of the patients pain, to determine which scans demonstrated clearly definable tears extending to the outer one-third of the annulus. Statistical analysis via the exact method was used to determine the correlation between the side of the patients tear and the side of the patients pain. RESULTS: Forty post-discography CT scans met the inclusion criteria. There was a random correlation between the side of the patients concordantly painful annular tear and the side of the patients pain. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study raise several questions regarding the embryologic development of the intervertebral disc and its somite, neurologic transmission of discogenic pain, distribution of chemical inflammagens, validity of discography, technique of ESI, and technique and validity of IDET.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E165-169
JournalSpine
Volume26
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

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