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Is conservative treatment a good choice for pediatric intervertebral disc calcification in children?



Paediatric intervertebral disc calcification (PIDC) is a rare disease, and its aetiology remains unknown. This study aimed to analyse the characteristics and clinical outcomes of patients with PIDC.


After applying the exclusion and inclusion criteria, 159 children diagnosed with PIDC were analysed at our hospital between January 2010 and November 2020. Patients’ demographic and clinical data were collected, such as sex, pain, duration time, physical examination, white blood cell count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, and radiography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging findings. Patients were followed up for at least 6 months, and radiography or symptoms were evaluated. Fisher’s exact test or χ2-test was used for statistical analyses.


One hundred and fifty-nine patients were ultimately followed up with for about 12.5 ± 5.8 months. There were 103 male and 56 female, with an average age of 6.08 ± 2.62 years (2 months to 12 years). A total of 109 patients had only one PIDC, 29 patients had two PIDCs, and 21 patients had multiple PIDCs. Thirty patients were found incidentally and were asymptomatic. A total of 106 patients had neck torticollis. Sixteen patients had IDC herniations, fifteen patients had posterior longitudinal ligament calcification, two patients had anterior longitudinal ligament calcification, and 17 patients had herniation of the vertebral canal. All patients underwent conservative treatment, and none underwent surgery. All patients’ symptoms resolved after either collar fixation or neck traction.


PIDC can be treated conservatively, even when accompanied by herniation, longitudinal ligament calcification, or clinical neck symptoms.

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Thanks to Hanjun Wu in our Medical Record Department for data collection.


No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.

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YS conceived the study, participated in its design and drafted the manuscript. XC and KC helped in collecting the clinical data and help drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Yuxi Su.

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Chen, K., Chen, X. & Su, Y. Is conservative treatment a good choice for pediatric intervertebral disc calcification in children?. Eur Spine J 31, 3324–3329 (2022).

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