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Asian Spine J. 2013 Dec;7(4):322-34. doi: 10.4184/asj.2013.7.4.322. Epub 2013 Nov 28.

Lumbar disc degenerative disease: disc degeneration symptoms and magnetic resonance image findings.

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Neurosurgery Department, Dow Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan.
Neurosurgery Department, Civil Hospital, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan.
Neurosurgery Department, Civil Hospital, Principal Dow Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan.



Cross sectional and observational.


To evaluate the different aspects of lumbar disc degenerative disc disease and relate them with magnetic resonance image (MRI) findings and symptoms.


Lumbar disc degenerative disease has now been proven as the most common cause of low back pain throughout the world. It may present as disc herniation, lumbar spinal stenosis, facet joint arthropathy or any combination. Presenting symptoms of lumbar disc degeneration are lower back pain and sciatica which may be aggravated by standing, walking, bending, straining and coughing.


This study was conducted from January 2012 to June 2012. Study was conducted on the diagnosed patients of lumbar disc degeneration. Diagnostic criteria were based upon abnormal findings in MRI. Patients with prior back surgery, spine fractures, sacroiliac arthritis, metabolic bone disease, spinal infection, rheumatoid arthritis, active malignancy, and pregnancy were excluded.


During the targeted months, 163 patients of lumbar disc degeneration with mean age of 43.92±11.76 years, came into Neurosurgery department. Disc degeneration was most commonly present at the level of L4/L5 105 (64.4%).Commonest types of disc degeneration were disc herniation 109 (66.9%) and lumbar spinal stenosis 37 (22.7%). Spondylolisthesis was commonly present at L5/S1 10 (6.1%) and associated mostly with lumbar spinal stenosis 7 (18.9%).


Results reported the frequent occurrence of lumbar disc degenerative disease in advance age. Research efforts should endeavor to reduce risk factors and improve the quality of life.


Claudication; Low back pain; Spondylolisthesis

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