How reliable are tests used to diagnose disc herniation?

How reliable are tests used to diagnose disc herniation?

Nezar H. Al Nezari et al. Neurological examination of the peripheral nervous system to diagnose lumbar spinal disc herniation with suspected radiculopathy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. In The Spine Journal, June 2013, 13(6), 657–674

Back pain with leg pain caused by disc herniation is a complex problem and not one that is easy to diagnose. Physicians rely on the patient’s history, physical examination (including specific neurological tests) and imaging studies such as X-rays, MRIs and CT scans. Accurately identifying the problem is one step. Determining the spinal level where the disc is pressing on the spinal nerve is a separate diagnostic step.

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