Lumbosacral and Spinopelvic Anatomy and Pathology - Severely Degenerated Lower Lumbar Spine

Severely degenerated lower lumbar spine of a 70-year old man
Severely degenerated lower lumbar spine of a 70–year–old man who a history of long–standing low back pain. This sagittal section shows the L4–L5 and L5–SI spinal segments. At L4–L5 the disc is severely disrupted throughout its substance, showing horizontal cleft formation, spondy– lotic rim osteophytosis and a Schmorl–type intraosseous disc herniation. The lateral recess is almost obliterated by the bulging of the disc and by the infolding of the ligamentum flavum. At L5–SI disc degeneration is even more severe, note the almost complete loss of disc space height. The hard extruded outer annulus and the bulging ligamentum flavum compromise the traversing SI root. The (black) epidural veins are engorged due to their obstruction at two levels, there also is a severe deformation of the thecal sac.

©2000 Wolfgang Rauschning, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Clinical Anatomy
Academic University Hospital
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Uppsala, Sweden
Reproduction without permission is prohibited
http://www.akademiska.se/
Updated on: 02/01/10
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