Does provocative discography screening of discogenic back pain improve surgical outcome?

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Does provocative discography screening of discogenic back pain improve surgical outcome?

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The value of preoperative provocative discography in the setting of discogenic low back pain was investigated by evaluating surgical outcomes. Seventy-three consecutive patients who underwent posterolateral interbody and posterior spinal arthrodesis for discogenic low back pain refractory to nonoperative management were reviewed. Chronologically, the first 41 patients (group A) were indicated without discography, whereas the remaining 32 (group B) had been indicated only if their pain had been reproduced during disc injection. The two groups were similar in demographic, psychometric, and radiologic parameters. Average follow-up time in group A was 2.8 years and in group B it was 2.4 years, both with a 2-year minimum. Using modified Oswestry scoring, group A and group B patients had satisfactory outcomes of 75.6% and 81.2%, respectively. This difference was neither statistically significant nor suggestive. In this study, provocative discography screening did not improve surgical outcome

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