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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Boden 1990.

Abnormal magnetic-resonance scans of the lumbar spine in asymptomatic subjects. A prospective investigation

updated
Boden SD, Davis DO, Dina TS, Patronas NJ, Wiesel SW. Abnormal magnetic-resonance scans of the lumbar spine in asymptomatic subjects. A prospective investigation. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1990;72(3):403–408.
Tags: back pain, sciatica, surgery, neurology, biomechanics, pain problems, spine, butt, hip, treatment, etiology, pro

PainSci summary of Boden 1990?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focussed on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆?3-star ratings are for average studies, with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

The authors found that 22% of pain-free adults under 60 had herniated disks. A whopping 93% of asymptomatic volunteers over 60 had signs of disk degeneration.

original abstract

We performed magnetic resonance imaging on sixty-seven individuals who had never had low-back pain, sciatica, or neurogenic claudication. The scans were interpreted independently by three neuro-radiologists who had no knowledge about the presence or absence of clinical symptoms in the subjects. About one-third of the subjects were found to have a substantial abnormality. Of those who were less than sixty years old, 20 per cent had a herniated nucleus pulposus and one had spinal stenosis. In the group that was sixty years old or older, the findings were abnormal on about 57 per cent of the scans: 36 per cent of the subjects had a herniated nucleus pulposus and 21 per cent had spinal stenosis. There was degeneration or bulging of a disc at at least one lumbar level in 35 per cent of the subjects between twenty and thirty-nine years old and in all but one of the sixty to eighty-year-old subjects. In view of these findings in asymptomatic subjects, we concluded that abnormalities on magnetic resonance images must be strictly correlated with age and any clinical signs and symptoms before operative treatment is contemplated.

related content

These four articles on PainScience.com cite Boden 1990 as a source:


This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog.