Letters Choosing Wisely in the UK

People receiving unnecessary treatments: accurate diagnosis is key

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h2962 (Published 02 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2962
  1. Tim Germon, consultant spine surgeon1,
  2. Jeremy Hobart, professor of neurology and clinical measurement1
  1. 1Southwest Neurosurgical Centre, Derriford Hospital and Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth PL6 8DH, UK
  1. tim.germon{at}nhs.net

We agree that diagnosis drives treatment.1 Clinicians are required to make diagnoses that underpin meaningful discussions about management options, their mechanisms of action, and their potential risks and benefits. However, emphasis needs to be placed on achieving accurate diagnosis rather than identifying “overdiagnosis.”

In our experience lumbar nerve root compression (LNRC) is underdiagnosed, and people with this condition …

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