4 doctors weighed in:
What are the tests for herniated disk?
4 doctors weighed in

Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine
3 doctors agree
In brief: The best ...
Most are diagnosed through a clinical evaluation with testing done to confirm the diagnosis as the number of disc herniations found in patients without symptoms increases with age.
Knowing that, MRI is probably the best imaging test followed by a ct. A myelogram-ct is excellent as well with a contrast MRI the best test for people with prior back surgery to distinguish post op scar from a disc.

In brief: The best ...
Most are diagnosed through a clinical evaluation with testing done to confirm the diagnosis as the number of disc herniations found in patients without symptoms increases with age.
Knowing that, MRI is probably the best imaging test followed by a ct. A myelogram-ct is excellent as well with a contrast MRI the best test for people with prior back surgery to distinguish post op scar from a disc.
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Michael Bolesta
History and physical examination put the imaging (MRI, myelogram, CT) into the proper perspective. Without them, the imaging can even be misleading; as you noted, people can have disk herniations and no symptoms that can be correlated to them.
Dr. Michael Bolesta
Orthopedic Surgery
In brief: History, exam, MRI
The person's story (history) usually makes the diagnosis.
The physical examination will tend to confirm it. Tests like MRI and ct (with or without contrast dye) simply indicate where the herniation is. Sometimes other problems cause similar symptoms and signs, so the MRI or ct are necessary if invasive treatment is being considered.

In brief: History, exam, MRI
The person's story (history) usually makes the diagnosis.
The physical examination will tend to confirm it. Tests like MRI and ct (with or without contrast dye) simply indicate where the herniation is. Sometimes other problems cause similar symptoms and signs, so the MRI or ct are necessary if invasive treatment is being considered.
Dr. Michael Bolesta
Dr. Michael Bolesta
Thank
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