0
Workshop Articles   |    
Imaging Intervertebral Disc Degeneration
Victor Haughton, MD
View Disclosures and Other Information
The author did not receive grants or outside funding in support of his research for or preparation of this manuscript. He did not receive payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the author is affiliated or associated.

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2006 Apr 01;88(suppl 2):15-20. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.F.00010
5 Recommendations (Recommend) | 3 Comments | Saved by 3 Users Save Case

Abstract

Magnetic resonance imaging provides excellent anatomic detail of spinal tissues, but fails to provide the type of information that permits a definitive diagnosis in many patients with back pain. New imaging strategies that can be applied to the study of intervertebral disc degeneration include diffusion-weighted imaging, magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, functional magnetic resonance imaging, dynamic computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, and T2 relaxometry. With dynamic imaging, the relative motions of normal and degenerated lumbar motion segments can be evaluated noninvasively. With further evaluation of the technique, hypermobile segments may be distinguishable from those with normal relative motion. T2 measurements obtained by T2 relaxometry appear to have important advantages with regard to spinal imaging because this modality provides a continuous and objective measure of the content of free water in the disc, which decreases with aging and degeneration. Anatomic imaging of the spine is highly accurate in the evaluation of nonmechanical causes of back pain and less beneficial in the evaluation of back pain that is due to mechanical causes. The development of functional imaging strategies of the spine will likely improve the management of patients with back pain. This article outlines the current magnetic resonance imaging protocols for intervertebral disc degeneration, indicates deficiencies in current imaging, and describes functional imaging strategies for the spine that will likely improve the evaluation of patients with back pain. It also reviews recent published articles on magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomographic imaging of the spine and details the results of studies that have explored the future potential of spine imaging.

Figures in this Article
    Sign In to Your Personal ProfileSign In To Access Full Content
    Not a Subscriber?
    Get online access for 30 days for $35
    New to JBJS?
    Sign up for a full subscription to both the print and online editions
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities, to comment on public articles, or to sign up for alerts.
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities
    Have a subscription to the print edition?
    Current subscribers to The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery in either the print or quarterly DVD formats receive free online access to JBJS.org.
    Forgot your password?
    Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.

     
    Forgot your username or need assistance? Please contact customer service at subs@jbjs.org. If your access is provided
    by your institution, please contact you librarian or administrator for username and password information. Institutional
    administrators, to reset your institution's master username or password, please contact subs@jbjs.org

    References

    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
    CME Activities Associated with This Article
    Submit a Comment
    Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
    Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discretion of JBJS editorial staff.

    * = Required Field
    (if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
    Example: John Doe





    Related Content
    The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
    JBJS Case Connector
    Topic Collections
    Related Audio and Videos
    Clinical Trials
    Readers of This Also Read...
    JBJS Jobs
    01/22/2014
    Pennsylvania - Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
    11/15/2013
    Louisiana - Ochsner Health System
    05/03/2012
    California - UCLA/OH Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
    03/05/2014
    Oklahoma - The University of Oklahoma