Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings in Lumbar Disc Degeneration in Symptomatic Patients

  • D B Karki
  • K P Adhikary
  • G Gurung


Background: The sequel of disc degeneration is one of the leading causes of functional incapacity that leads to chronic disability. The study aims to evaluate the MRI findings of degenerative changes in symptomatic patients.

Methods: The study was a retrospective study for the duration of 3 years. Symptomatic patients undergoing MRI of LS spine were included in the study. Patients undergoing MRI for neurological symptoms alone and acute trauma or suspected infection or tumor were excluded from the study. MRI of patients was evaluated for degenerative changes  and their sequel. Data was entered in a predesigned proforma and analysis was done with SPSS version 19.0.

Results:  A total of 2037 MRIs of LS spine of symptomatic patients were included in the study. Degenerative changes were demonstrated in 1906 (93.8 %) patients, which comprised 1039 (54.5 %) males and 867 (45.4 %) females. Disc bulge along with disc desiccation was the most common degenerative findings noted in 1667 (81.8 %). Disc herniation was seen in 1032(50.6%), neural foraminal stenosis in 1220 (59.8 %), central spinal canal in 1136 (55.8%) and nerve root compression in 650 (31.9%). Disc bulge, neural foraminal stenosis, central spinal canal stenosis was significantly more common in patients older than 40 years. Disc herniation was however significantly  more frequent in patients younger than 40 years.

Conclusions: Degenerative changes are common in symptomatic patients and increase in frequency with aging. Disc herniation is however more common in younger patients.

Keywords: Degenerative Disc Disease, Disc herniation, MRI, Nerve root compression

How to Cite
KARKI, D B; ADHIKARY, K P; GURUNG, G. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings in Lumbar Disc Degeneration in Symptomatic Patients. Journal of Nepal Health Research Council, [S.l.], dec. 2015. ISSN 1999-6217. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 04 june 2020. doi: