Recommendations of the Combined Task Forces of the
North American Spine Society, American Society of Spine Radiology,
and American Society of Neuroradiology

David F. Fardon, MD, Chairperson, Clinical Task Force
Pierre C. Milette, MD, Chairperson, Imaging Task Force


Clinical Task Force Members

Tom Faciszewski, MD
David F. Fardon, MD
Steven R. Garfin, MD
Scott Haldeman, MD, PhD
Neil Kahanovitz, MD
Volker K.H. Sonntag, MD

Imaging Task Force Members

Brigitte Appel, MD
Jean-François Bonneville, MD
Marco Leonardi, MD
Pierre C. Milette, MD
Jeffrey S. Ross, MD
Alan L. Williams, MD
Jan T. Wilmink, MD, PhD


FEBRUARY 2003 UPDATE

Since its initial publication, in March 2001, the terminology proposed in this work has been endorsed by other societies. It is now officially supported, recommended or web-linked by the following American and European professional organizations and scientific societies:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R)
American College of Radiology (ACR)
American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR)
American Society of Spine Radiology (ASSR)
Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS)
European Society of Neuroradiology (ESNR)
North American Spine Society (NASS)
Physiatric Association of Spine, Sports and Occupational Rehabilitation (PASSOR)


 PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Standardization of language is difficult, especially among those who have expert knowledge of the subject and clear understanding of what their own words mean. The difficulties must be overcome, because deleterious effects ensue when we do not understand what one another's words mean. Existing dictionary definitions and previous efforts by experts have lacked the attention to detail and multidisciplinary consensus we brought to this work.

The North American Spine Society (NASS) initiated efforts to develop detailed definitions of lumbar disc pathology terms and has provided sustained support of the project. Independent efforts by neuroradiologists led the American Society of Spine Radiology (ASSR) and American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR) to organize a task force of neuroradiologists and encourage liaison with the NASS group. The results are this document and improved communications between the societies.

The Board of Directors of NASS, and the Executive Committees of both ASSR and ASNR have endorsed this document, as has the Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), and the CPT and ICD Coding Committee of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Endorsement by other North American, European, and international societies is currently pending. This work is being simultaneously posted on the website of the journal Spine and on the ASSR and ASNR websites, owing to special arrangements concluded between the Editors and Publishers of Spine and the American Journal of Neuroradiology (AJNR).

The hope of all of us who have worked on this project is that it will ultimately improve the care of patients with spinal disorders.

David F. Fardon, MD, Chairperson, Clinical Task Force
Pierre C. Milette, MD, Chairperson, Imaging Task Force


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