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September 22, 1993

Lumbar Disc Disease

Author Affiliations

Lahey Clinic Burlington, Mass

JAMA. 1993;270(12):1480-1481. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510120104044

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The second edition of this authoritative volume on the ubiquitous problem of degenerative lumbar disk disease has been expanded and updated. The 31 chapters provide a variety of viewpoints, ranging from the solidly established to the controversial.

In a number of areas it is not yet clear what advantages a new treatment offers, compared with the more established approaches. In this volume, one might criticize the relative lack of commentary by the editor himself on such controversial subjects, including posterior lumbar interbody fusion, indications for fusion, chymopapain, microdiskectomy, manipulation, thermography, various imaging techniques, and other areas.

Although the initial chapter contains a few misleading statements, such as, "Most if not all cases of sciatica are caused by disc herniation or rupture," it nevertheless provides a very interesting historical perspective. The chapter on anatomy of the lumbar spine is informative and sound and that on the natural history and epidemiology of