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Methodologic evaluation of the lumbar disc syndrome.

Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine
Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Medicine


Though the lumbar disc syndrome is a costly and ubiquitous affliction, effective evaluation of the disease process has been confounded by major unaddressed methodological short falls. Prominent difficulties include: inattention to the clinical boundaries of the syndrome, neglected co-morbid disease processes, comparison of unequal treatment groups and premature clinical data extrapolation, inadequate diagnostic validation, variability in surgical observation, and reliance upon follow-up techniques faulted by unaddressed distorting factors. Proposals for improvement include: formulation of suitable stratification subgroups emphasizing age and sign-symptom intensity and duration, techniques for improved diagnostic return from surgical exploration, suggestions toward improved quantitation of clinical testing procedures, and implantation of a quality of life scale.

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