Disc degeneration, endplate change and Schmorl's node in LBP
There is debate as to the usefulness of imaging in low back pain as positive radiological findings on lumbar spine MRI have been consistently reported in asymptomatic populations. The present, large population study, investigated the association of findings of disc degeneration (DD), end plate signal changes (ESC), schmorls nodes (SN) with low back pain.
MRI was performed on 975 Japanese participants (mean age 66 years) and found no correlation between findings of DD alone and low back pain. 88% of participants had some level of DD. 66% of patients with DD alone were asymptomatic. The authors, however, did find a correlation between findings of DD, ESC and SN concurrently and low back pain.
The finding of DD alone on MRI may be of no clinical significance in people with low back pain.
> From: Teraguchi et al., Spine J (2014) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Elsevier Inc. Click here for the Pubmed summary.