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Effect of Age and Lordotic Angle on the Level of Lumbar Disc Herniation

DOI: 10.4061/2011/950576

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It has been previously suggested in the literature that with aging, degenerative changes as well as disc herniation start at the lower lumbar segments, with higher disc involvement observed in an ascending fashion in older age groups. We conducted a study to investigate this correlation between age and level of disc herniation, and to associate it with the magnitude of the Lumbar Lordotic Angle (LLA), as measured by Cobb’s method. We followed retrospectively lumbosacral spine MRI’s of 1419 patients with symptomatic disc herniation. Pearson’s correlation was used in order to investigate the relationship between LLA, age, and level of disc herniation. Student’s -test was applied to assess gender differences. Young patients were found to have higher LLA (=0.44, <0.0001) and lower levels of disc herniation (=0.302, <0.0001), whereas older patients had higher level herniation in lower LLA group (mean LLA 28.6° and 25.4°) and lower level herniation in high LLA group (mean LLA 33.2°). We concluded that Lumbar lordotic Cobb’s angle and age can be predictors of the level of lumbar disc herniation. This did not differ among men and women (=0.341, <0.0001).


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