Does needle insertion site affect diskography results? A retrospective analysis

Steven P. Cohen, Thomas Larkin, Gregory V. Fant, Ronald Oberfoell, Milan Stojanovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study Design. A retrospective clinical data analysis was performed. Objectives. To determine the effect of needle insertion site on provocative diskography results, and to ascertain whether performing diskography ipsilaterally to a patient's reported pain leads to a higher rate of false-positives. Summary of Background Data. In certain groups of patients, provocative diskography is associated with a significant false-positive rate, which can lead to misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment. Although purported by some to be a cause of false-positive diskogram results, the effect of needle insertion site on diskography results has yet to be determined. Methods. The charts of 127 patients who underwent diskography were evaluated to determine the relationship between the location of pain, needle insertion site, and diskography results. Results. Performing diskography on the side ipsilateral to a patient's pain did not result in a higher incidence of positive diskogram results. Conclusion. False-positive diskography results are unlikely to result from performing the procedure on the same side as a patient's reported pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2279-2282
Number of pages4
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Diskography
  • Low back pain
  • Lumbar disc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

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