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How Is Lumbar Disc Disease Diagnosed? - Dr. Ramin Raiszadeh (VIDEO)

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More Videos from Dr. Ramin Raiszadeh 17 videos in this series

Dr. Raiszadeh explains how doctors diagnose lumbar disc disease.

Dr. Raiszadeh:
You can diagnose lumbar disc disease by several ways. Number one way you can diagnose it is getting x-rays of your back. Whenever you get x-rays of your back you must get standing x-rays to put gravity into the picture. Standing x-rays, in addition to flexion extension x-rays that we call, so that puts your body in an alignment where you can assess for any instability of your back by getting those flexion extension x-rays. So standing x-rays are very important.

So in addition to the x-rays, what it tells the doctor, tells the surgeon is what kind of motion is present in your back. But in addition to that, the x-rays tell us about the integrity of your bones, if there’s any other problems, whether you can, whether you can imply osteoporosis, osteopenia from the bones, but x-rays are a very good initial setup and examination that we do to find out what the diagnosis can be.

In addition to the x-rays, if that doesn’t tell you about the nerves, that doesn’t tell you about the disc, that can’t tell you about the lumbar degenerative disc disease, it can’t tell you as much about that as the MRIs do. MRI is a very key study that allows you to look at the disc hydration and looks at all the lumbar degenerative discs. So L1 to L2, L2 to 3, 3 to 4 and 4 to 5–those MRIs tell us in addition to the disc, what the nerves are doing. If nerves are being compressed, if the nerves are being irritated, they will be able to tell it from the MRI scan.

About Dr. Raiszadeh, M.D.:
Board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dr. Ramin Raiszadeh is an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in the complex field of adult spinal surgery. He earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where he received the Paul Harrington Award for Research. He also completed a specialized internship and residency program at Baylor before achieving the highest level of medical education and fellowship training at the University of Texas Medical School. During this fellowship, under the directorship of multiple neurosurgeons and orthopedic spine surgeons, he became skilled in treating all forms of pediatric and adult spinal conditions.