IS Case 280: Spondylosis deformans

A. R. Klekers, MD

Imaging Sciences URMC 2009
Publication Date: 2009-08-05


Patient is a 53-year-old female with low back pain.


Small anterior and lateral osteophytes at multiple levels of the lumbar spine with preserved vertebral body heights and disc spaces.


Spondylosis deformans is an entity describing degenerative disc disease often in the elderly population. The most obvious radiographic finding is the presence of osteophytes. Any segment of the vertebral column may be affected. It is caused by shearing damage to the fibers that connect annulus fibrosis to the vertebral bodies which occurs in cases of anterolateral disc herniation. This condition separates the anterior longitudinal ligament from the vertebral body and can lead to traction at the site of bone attachment. Osteophytes occur along the anterior and lateral aspect of vertebral bodies in horizontal and vertical orientation representing reactive bone formation. Posterior osteophytes are uncommon.


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