Positional MRI Changes in Supine Versus Sitting Postures in Patients With Degenerative Lumbar Spine.

Karadimas, Efthimios J. MD; Siddiqui, Manal FRCS; Smith, Francis W. MD; Wardlaw, Douglas FRCS

The purpose of this study is to investigate how the degree of lumbar segmental degeneration affects sagittal changes in the lumbar spine as it shifts from the supine to the sitting (load-bearing) posture.  Thirty patients with chronic low back pain were enrolled and their lumbar spines were investigated by conventional supine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) followed later by positional MRI in the seated posture. The results show that as the lumbar spine was loaded from the supine to the sitting position, the end-plate angles were decreased significantly as the degeneration was increased. There were also significant changes in the anterior and middle disc heights between the supine and the sitting postures irrespective of the degree of degeneration. The authors conclude that they have found that the changes in the segmental motion were related to the degree of degeneration. With positional MRI, they were able to demonstrate changes in healthy and degenerative discs in the weight-bearing position.

Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.    19(7):495-500, October 2006.

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