Editorial: Symptoms versus magnetic resonance imaging

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The authors present a small case series of 5 patients with herniated lumbar discs.1 The cases were unusual in that the herniations apparent on MRI were on the opposite side of the symptoms. While this phenomenon has been only rarely reported, it is actually known by most spine surgeons to occur.

In each case, the authors performed a microdiscectomy in which they approached the disc from the side of the MRI-documented abnormality that was asymptomatic. They had excellent outcomes in all 5 cases, and 4 of the 5 patients had objective resolution of motor deficits.

The authors note

Article Information

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online June 8, 2012; DOI: 10.3171/2012.3.SPINE11937.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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References

1

Akdeniz TKaner TTutkan İOzer AF: Unilateral surgical approach for lumbar disc herniation with contralateral symptoms. Clinical article. J Neurosurg Spine [epub ahead of print June 8 2012. DOI: 10.3171/2012.4.SPINE11365]

1

Choudhury ARTaylor JCWorthington BSWhitaker R: Lumbar radiculopathy contralateral to upper lumbar disc herniation: report of 3 cases. Br J Surg 65:8428441978

2

Kornberg M: Sciatica contralateral to disc herniation. Orthopedics 17:3623641994

3

Mirovsky YHalperin N: Eccentric compression of the spinal canal causing dominantly contralateral-side symptoms. J Spinal Disord 13:1741772000

4

Sucu HKGelal F: Lumber disk herniation with contralateral symptoms. Eur Spine J 15:5705742006

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