Degenerative joint disease of the spine

Radiol Clin North Am. 2012 Jul;50(4):613-28. doi: 10.1016/j.rcl.2012.04.012.


Degenerative changes are the manifestations of metabolic disturbances in the matrix of intervertebral disks and zygapophysial joints. Genetic factors and physical loading contribute, but the strongest correlation is with age. Degenerative changes lack any significant correlation with spinal pain. Therefore, they do not constitute a diagnosis. Internal disk disruption is a distinctive condition that is independent of degeneration and age. Its biophysical and morphologic features correlate with back pain, as do its manifestations on magnetic resonance imaging.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement*
  • Intervertebral Disc*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases*
  • Spine / pathology
  • Young Adult
  • Zygapophyseal Joint*