A digitizing technique for the study of movement of intradiscal dye in response to flexion and extension of the lumbar spine

Brock E. Schnebel, James W. Simmons, Jon Chowning, Ron Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations


The effects of flexion and extension exercises on lumbar discs and low-back pain are controversial. Our goals were to develop a technique and program for digitizing and analyzing discograms and to study the motion of intradiscal dye in response to flexion and extension. Thirty-five patients following awake discography were evaluated with lateral radiographs obtained in an extension position and a flexion position. Fifty-three segments with normal morphology and 47 segments with abnormal morphology were studied. Discograms with normal morphology showed numerically significant change in position with a more anterior position occurring during extension. Changes In the position of intradiscal dye in discs with abnormal morphology were less predictable. Digitizing was an advantageous technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-312
Number of pages4
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1988



  • Disc morphology
  • Discography
  • Exercises
  • Flexion and extension
  • Lumbar disc
  • Nuclear shift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

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