ABCs of the degenerative spine

Sergiy V. Kushchayev, Tetiana Glushko, Mohamed Jarraya, Karl H. Schuleri, Mark C. Preul, Michael L. Brooks, Oleg M. Teytelboym

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Abstract: Degenerative changes in the spine have high medical and socioeconomic significance. Imaging of the degenerative spine is a frequent challenge in radiology. The pathogenesis of this degenerative process represents a biomechanically related continuum of alterations, which can be identified with different imaging modalities. The aim of this article is to review radiological findings involving the intervertebral discs, end plates, bone marrow changes, facet joints and the spinal canal in relation to the pathogenesis of degenerative changes in the spine. Findings are described in association with the clinical symptoms they may cause, with a brief review of the possible treatment options. The article provides an illustrated review on the topic for radiology residents. Teaching Points: • The adjacent vertebrae, intervertebral disc, ligaments and facet joints constitute a spinal unit. • Degenerative change is a response to insults, such as mechanical or metabolic injury. • Spine degeneration is a biomechanically related continuum of alterations evolving over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-274
Number of pages22
JournalInsights into Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Degenerative spine
  • Intervertebral disc herniation
  • Modic changes
  • Spinal canal stenosis
  • Spondylosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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