A general consensus exists,that lumbosacral nerve root compression is the primary cause of sciatica and neurogenic claudication, although humoral and vascular factors certainly play a role as well. This book focuses on imaging the various ways in which nerve root compression can come about, and determining which anatomic features are reliably associated with the production of radicular pain. After a discussion of the nature of radicular pain and related symptoms, spinal imaging techniques and options are reviewed, with emphasis on the role of MR myelography in assessing the intradural nerve roots. A chapter on normal topographic, sectional, and functional radiologic anatomy is followed by presentations on pathologic anatomy, addressing mechanisms of nerve root compression, and on pre- and postoperative imaging. Features relevant to prediction of the natural history are discussed, and a section is devoted to the performance and reporting of a spinal imaging study.
Lumbar Spinal Imaging in Radicular Pain and Related Conditions: Understanding Diagnostic Images in a Clinical Context