Schmorl's nodes

Kwaku A. Kyere, Khoi D. Than, Anthony C. Wang, Shayan U. Rahman, Juan M. Valdivia-Valdivia, Frank La Marca, Paul Park

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction First described in 1927, a Schmorl's node (SN) is the herniation of nucleus pulposus (NP) through the cartilaginous and bony end plate into the body of the adjacent vertebra. SNs are common findings on imaging, and although most SNs are asymptomatic, some have been shown to become painful lesions. In this manuscript, we review the literature regarding the epidemiology, clinical presentation, pathogenesis, imaging, and management of SNs. Materials and methods Using databases from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, relevant articles were identified. Results While several theories regarding the pathogenesis of SNs have been proposed, an axial load model appears to have the greatest supporting evidence. Symptomatic SNs are thought to be due to the inflammatory response solicited by the herniation of NP into the wellvascularized vertebral body. Management options for symptomatic SNs vary, ranging from medical management to surgical fusion. Conclusion SNs are common lesions that are often asymptomatic. In certain cases, SNs can cause back pain. No consensus on pathogenesis exists. There is no established treatment modality for symptomatic SNs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2115-2121
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Volume21
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Review
  • Schmorl's node
  • Spine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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  • Cite this

    Kyere, K. A., Than, K. D., Wang, A. C., Rahman, S. U., Valdivia-Valdivia, J. M., Marca, F. L., & Park, P. (2012). Schmorl's nodes. European Spine Journal, 21(11), 2115-2121. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-012-2325-9