Modic changes: anatomy, pathophysiology and clinical correlation

Acta Neurochir Suppl. 2011;108:49-53. doi: 10.1007/978-3-211-99370-5_9.


Studying discovertebral complex anatomy is extremely important for the understanding of the pathophysiology of disc degeneration which leads to vertebral endplates signal changes, also known as Modic changes.The sequelae of disc degeneration are among the leading causes of functional incapacity in both sexes and are one of the most common sources of chronic disability in the working years. Even if the presence of degenerative changes in MRI of the spine is by no means an indicator of symptoms, we are concordant in a positive association between Modic changes and low back pain, above all as a relatively specific but insensitive sign of discogenic low back pain.

MeSH terms

  • Bone Marrow / pathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc Degeneration* / complications
  • Intervertebral Disc Degeneration* / diagnosis
  • Intervertebral Disc Degeneration* / epidemiology
  • Low Back Pain* / complications
  • Low Back Pain* / diagnosis
  • Low Back Pain* / epidemiology
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Statistics as Topic