Well let me shed some light. In the majority of the cases, for you to have a disc herniation, the bony contours ( what you see on the xray) will also have corresponding changes. Remember the disc is sandwiched between the two bone. I can take an xray and if the bony contours look all normal between the vertebral body and the disc space is equal throughout then more then likely I can ascertain that you don't have a disc herniation. I would never make that diagnosis without a MRI but you get the jest. Secondly, studies have shown that if you were to MRI the adult population, half of them would have positive changes for bulges and herniations.
Last edited by samarai; 12-21-2012 at 06:14 AM.