A. The major finding on plain radiographs of patients with a herniated disc is decreased disc height. Radiographs have limited diagnostic value for herniated disc because degenerative changes are equally present in asymptomatic and symptomatic persons.
B. The gold standard for herniated disc is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI has the ability to demonstrate disc damage, including anular tears and edema. MRI can reveal bulging and degenerative discs in asymptomatic persons; therefore, any management decisions should be based on the clinical findings corroborated by diagnostic test results.
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