Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery

, Volume 116, Issue 1–2, pp 106–107 | Cite as

Age-dependent correlation of low-back pain and lumbar disc degeneration

  • H. Paajanen
  • M. Erkintalo
  • R. Parkkola
  • J. Salminen
  • M. Kormano
Clinical and Experimental Forum


The prevalence of lumbar disc degeneration in subjects suffering from low-back pain (n = 207; age range 10–49 years) and in age-matched asymptomatic controls (n = 216) was investigated by magnetic resonance imaging. The percentage of subjects with degenerated discs increased with age; starting from the age of 15 years, this increase was more rapid in subjects with low-back pain. Concurrently, the number of degenerated discs was higher in the pain group than in controls. Lumbar disc degeneration manifests earlier and in a greater percentage of subjects with low-back pain than in asymptomatic controls.


Public Health Magnetic Resonance Imaging Great Percentage Disc Degeneration Lumbar Disc 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Boden SD, Davis DO, Dina TS, Patronas NJ, Wiesel SW (1990) Abnormal magnetic resonance scans of the lumbar spine in asymptomatic subjects. J Bone Joint Surg [Am] 72:403–408Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Jayson MIV (1994) Mechanisms underlying chronic back pain. Br Med J 309:681–682Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jensen MC, Brant-Zawadzki MN, Obuchowski N, Modic MT, Malkaisian D, Ross JS (1994) Magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine in people without back pain. N Engl J Med 331:69–73Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Miller JAA, Schmatz C, Schultz AB (1988) Lumbar disc degeneration: correlation with age, sex, and spine level in 600 autopsy specimens. Spine 13:173–178Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Osti OL, Fraser RD (1992) MRI and discography of annular tears and intervertebral disc degeneration. J Bone Joint Surg [Br] 74:431–435Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Paajanen H, Erkintalo M, Kuusela T, Dahlstrom S, Kormano M (1989) Magnetic resonance study of disc degeneration in young low-back pain patients. Spine 14:982–985Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Powell MC, Wilson M, Szypryt P, Symonds EM (1986) Prevalence of lumbar disc degeneration observed by magnetic resonance imaging in symptomless women. Lancet 2:1366–1367Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Robertson JT (1993) The rape of the spine. Surg Neurol 39:5–12Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Tertti M, Paajanen H, Laato M, Aho H, Komu M, Kormano M (1991) Disc degeneration in magnetic resonance imaging. A comparative biochemical, histologic, and radiologic study in cadaver spines. Spine 16:629–634Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Witt I, Vestergaard A, Rosenklint A (1984) A comparative analysis of x-ray findings of the lumbar spine in patients with and without lumbar pain. Spine 9:298–300Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Paajanen
    • 1
  • M. Erkintalo
    • 2
  • R. Parkkola
    • 2
  • J. Salminen
    • 3
  • M. Kormano
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity Hospital of KuopioKuopioFinland
  2. 2.Department of Diagnostic RadiologyUniversity Central Hospital of TurkuTurkuFinland
  3. 3.Physical Medicine and RehabilitationUniversity Central Hospital of TurkuTurkuFinland

Personalised recommendations