Differential Diagnosis. I. Organic Diseases

  • F. Postacchini
  • G. Trasimeni


Lumbar disc herniation may be responsible for low back pain alone, back pain and pseudoradicular pain, or low back and radicular pain, the latter being confined to the buttock and proximal part of the thigh or extended to the rest of the limb. Numerous pathologic conditions, other than disc herniation, may cause pure back pain and, on the other hand, a herniation is characterized clinically by the presence of radicular pain. We have, thus, limited the analysis of pathologic conditions which may simulate a lumbar disc herniation to the diseases that may be responsible for low back and/or leg pain. This does not imply that the conditions causing only low back pain or back and pseudoradicular pain — such as seronegative spondyloarthritis — cannot simulate a herniated lumbar disc producing only low back pain. However, in these cases, diagnostic confusion is extremely unlikely and, on the other hand, the association of the two conditions — rheumatic disease and disc herniation — may be only incidental, considering that a herniated disc is found in many asymptomatic subjects.


Sciatic Nerve Nerve Root Lumbar Disc Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Lumbar Disc Herniation 
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© Springer-Verlag Wien 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Postacchini
  • G. Trasimeni

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