[Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and disc lesions: A review of the literature]

By London Spine

The spine has been the subject of extensive clinical research since it is the source of many painful complaints. However, there is little scientific evidence concerning the therapeutic proposals. During the course of life, the intervertebral disc degenerates, which over time diminishes its damping capacity and facilitates the expulsion of the nucleus pulposus through the…

Randomised controlled trial of cervical radiofrequency lesions as a treatment for cervicogenic headache [ISRCTN07444684].

By London Spine
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Randomised controlled trial of cervical radiofrequency lesions as a treatment for cervicogenic headache [ISRCTN07444684].

BMC Anesthesiol. 2006;6:1

Authors: Haspeslagh SR, Van Suijlekom HA, Lamé IE, Kessels AG, van Kleef M, Weber WE

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Cervicogenic headache (CEH) is a unilateral headache localised in the neck or occipital region, projecting to the frontal and temporal regions. Since the pathogenesis of this syndrome appears to have an anatomical basis in the cervical region, several surgical procedures aimed at reducing the nociceptive input on the cervical level, have been tested. We developed a sequence of various cervical radiofrequency neurotomies (facet joint denervations eventually followed by upper dorsal root ganglion neurotomies) that proved successful in a prospective pilot trial with 15 CEH patients. To further evaluate this sequential treatment program we conducted a randomised controlled trial
METHODS: 30 patients with cervicogenic headache according to the Sjaastad diagnostic criteria, were randomised. 15 patients received a sequence of radiofrequency treatments (cervical facet joint denervation, followed by cervical dorsal root ganglion lesions when necessary), and the other 15 patients underwent local injections with steroid and anaesthetic at the greater occipital nerve, followed by transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) when necessary. Visual analogue scores for pain, global perceived effects scores, quality of life scores were assessed at 8, 16, 24 and 48 weeks. Patients also kept a headache diary.
RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences between the two treatment groups at any time point in the trial.
CONCLUSION: We did not find evidence that radiofrequency treatment of cervical facet joints and upper dorsal root ganglions is a better treatment than the infiltration of the greater occipital nerve, followed by TENS for patients fulfilling the clinical criteria of cervicogenic headache.

PMID: 16483374 [PubMed]

Morphometrics and lesions of vertebral end plates are associated with lumbar disc degeneration: evidence from cadaveric spines.

By London Spine
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Morphometrics and lesions of vertebral end plates are associated with lumbar disc degeneration: evidence from cadaveric spines.

J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2013 Mar 6;95(5):e261-7

Authors: Wang Y, Videman T, Battié MC

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Prior studies have suggested that vertebral end plate morphometrics and lesions may play a role in disc degeneration. However, most prior end plate studies have been based on radiographic images, and findings of associations between end plate morphometrics (measurements of size and shape) and disc degeneration remain controversial. The present study investigated the prevalence of vertebral end plate lesions and determined end plate morphometrics through direct measurements of cadaveric spines, and it examined the association of these factors with disc degeneration.
METHODS: We studied 600 vertebral end plates and 313 intervertebral discs from the cadaveric lumbosacral spines of seventy-six men (mean age, fifty-one years). Discography was performed to evaluate disc degeneration as indicated by disruption of the anulus fibrosus. The shape of the vertebral end plate and the presence of any lesions were visually evaluated. Lesions were rated as absent, small to moderate, or large. In addition, each end plate was digitized to quantify its area, circularity, and concavity. The association of end plate morphometrics and lesions with disc degeneration was examined.
RESULTS: Vertebral end plate lesions were found in 72% (fifty-five) of the seventy-six lumbar spines and in 32.8% (197) of the 600 end plates. The presence of end plate lesions was associated with disc degeneration, with larger lesions being associated with more severe disc degeneration (odds ratio, 2.31 for small to moderate lesions [p < 0.01] and 3.54 for large lesions [p < 0.001]). Greater end plate area was also associated with more severe disc degeneration (odds ratio, 1.2 per cm2 [p < 0.05]).
CONCLUSIONS: Vertebral end plate lesions were common and were associated with adjacent disc degeneration, with greater lesion size being associated with more severe disc degeneration. End plate morphometrics, particularly greater end plate size, may also play a role in the pathogenesis of disc degeneration.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: This study suggests that the integrity of the vertebral end plate is essential to maintaining disc health. The prevalence of end plate lesions may be underestimated on standard clinical images.

PMID: 23467874 [PubMed – in process]

Are Facet Joint Bone Marrow Lesions and Other Facet Joint Features Associated With Low Back Pain? A Pilot Study.

By London Spine
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Are Facet Joint Bone Marrow Lesions and Other Facet Joint Features Associated With Low Back Pain? A Pilot Study.

PM R. 2013 Mar;5(3):194-200

Authors: Suri P, Dharamsi AS, Gaviola G, Isaac Z

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency of facet joint (FJ) bone marrow lesions, high FJ periarticular signal intensity, and FJ effusions in a convenience sample of patients with axial low back pain (LBP). DESIGN: A cross-sectional pilot study with retrospective data collection. SETTING: Outpatient spine clinics. PATIENTS: Sixty-four adults with axial LBP scheduled to receive an FJ intra-articular corticosteroid injection. METHODS: Clinical data were abstracted from the medical record by 1 physician, who was blinded to results of the magnetic resonance imaging evaluations. A musculoskeletal radiologist blinded to clinical information performed standardized assessments of the L1-S1 spinal levels for FJ bone marrow lesions, effusions, and high periarticular signal intensity on lumbar magnetic resonance imaging, including short tau inversion recovery sequences. We calculated the frequency of these FJ features and used generalized estimating equations to examine side-specific associations between the location of FJ features and the side on which LBP was experienced. RESULTS: The sample included 64 participants with a mean (standard deviation) age of 59.9 ± 14.5 years. FJ bone marrow lesions were present in 64.1%, effusions in 70.3%, and high periarticular signal intensity in 65.6% of participants. All the features were most common at the L4-L5 level. These FJ features showed significant associations with the side on which LBP was experienced or statistical trends toward an association, with or without adjustment for age, gender, and body mass index. The strongest side-specific associations were seen for the number of bone marrow lesions (odds ratio [OR] 1.60 [95% confidence interval {CI},1.05-2.43]), any FJ effusion (OR 2.23 [95% CI, 1.02-4.85]), and the number of joints with high periarticular signal intensity (OR 1.75 [95% CI, 1.16-2.63]). CONCLUSIONS: FJ bone marrow lesions, effusions, and high periarticular signal intensity were common in this sample of patients with axial LBP and substantially more frequent than in prior reports from unselected samples of patients with or without radicular pain. These FJ features demonstrate side-specific associations with LBP. Further study of associations between these FJ features and LBP are warranted.

PMID: 23122893 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]