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Acta Orthop Scand. 1985 Dec;56(6):496-9.

Age changes in lumbar intervertebral discs.


Measurements of disc thickness, shape and degeneration, using the criteria described by Rolander (1966), were recorded from 204 post-mortem lumbar spines. The "true average disc height" increased with age as the discs "sink" into the vertebrae. These results add information to previous studies which indicate that the loss of transverse trabeculae of lumbar vertebrae is primarily responsible for the change in shape of both vertebrae and discs in the elderly. While the incidence of disc degeneration does increase in old age, the majority of the discs examined did not show evidence of any such change.

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