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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1989 Sep;14(9):982-5.

Magnetic resonance study of disc degeneration in young low-back pain patients.

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Department of Surgery, Central Hospital of Mikkeli, Finland.


The correlation of roentgenographic findings, clinical history, and incipient disc degeneration (DD), diagnosed with magnetic resonance imaging, was analyzed in young patients with low-back pain (LBP). One or more lumbar discs were abnormal in 57% of the 20-year-old LBP patients (n = 75) and in 35% of the asymptomatic controls (n = 34) in MRI. Narrowed disc spaces and alterations attributed to lumbar Scheuermann's disease, shown on the radiographs, were always associated with DD in MRI. Such a strong relationship was not observed with transitional vertebrae, spondylolisthesis, spina bifida, or postural abnormalities. However, an increased weight, a positive straight leg raising test, and a reduced lumbar mobility was consistent with an increase in frequency of DD. Magnetic resonance imaging is a safe and sensitive method for studying the presence and etiologic factors of DD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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