Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: The Clinical Crossroads1
about the 45-year-old attorney with low back pain was intriguing and
brought out some of the diagnostic dilemmas in the practice of clinical
The patient consulted an orthopedic surgeon who recommended lumbar
laminectomy with spinal fusion. The patient then obtained consultation
with a neurosurgeon who advised against surgery and recommended that
the patient should give up jogging. The discussant, Dr Weinstein,
suggested that the patient should continue running and doubts that the
patient will suffer any harm. Thus, the patient consulted 3 competent
experts and received 3 different opinions regarding the management of
his low back pain and numbness of his left foot.
Brien P, Brien M. Clinical Crossroads: A 45-Year-Old Man With Low Back Pain. JAMA. 1999;281(10):893–895. doi:10.1001/jama.281.10.893
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