Spine Imaging

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  • The primary role of imaging is the identification of undiagnosed systemic disease.
  • Spine imaging has a significant specificity fault.
  • There is a high prevalence of asymptomatic degenerative changes.
  • The significance depends on the concordance between imaging findings and the clinical presentation.
  • Spine imaging may be insensitive to dynamic lesions.
  • Ultimately spine imaging may fail to identify the pain source. For example ruptures of the capsule of a facet joint in the cervical spine from whiplash cannot be identified on imaging.