A multifactorial clinical condition characterized by low back pain with or without the concurrence of radicular lower limb symptoms in the presence of radiologically confirmed degenerative disk disease.
Degenerative disk disease leads to abnormal loading patterns of the motion segment. Progression of disk degeneration may lead to additional painful manifestations, including loss of disk height and facet joint arthrosis, disk herniation and nerve root irritation, and hypertrophic changes resulting in spinal stenosis.
MRI is the imaging study of choice for degenerative disk disease due to its unique detail on the representation of the disk status. Other tests may include plain radiographs, CT scanning, or provocative discography.
Nonsurgical treatments include lifestyle measures, followed by the judicious use of medications, physical therapy, and therapeutic needling procedures.
Surgical treatment includes decompression of neural structures and, in selected patients, a fusion of the motion segment.
MRI spine: degenerate L4-5 disk with a disk bulge and L5S1 disk with a high-intensity zone
From the collection of Dr N. Quiraishi