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desiccation and schmorl's node

cla_guaccla_gua Posts: 186
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Lower Back Pain
I want to ask some questions about schmorl's node and desiccation of the disc. I have a desiccation of l5-s1 with a small schmorl's node. All my drs say no problem. You shouldn't have pain from that disc. I just went to a new NS and he said that the disc is collasped and will give me problems. Has anyone been through this? Does anyone know what a collasped disc is and what it lead up to? AS in DDD? Can these type of disc hernaite or become a bulge?

Thanks a bunch!!!


  • Hello,
    I have many back problems, some would say too many for my age(26), but i may be able to help you a little as 2 of my problems are Schmorls Nodes disease, and i have disc desication, or drying out of the disc i many areas of my spine. Discs that are heriated, bulged, and ruptured, are mainly from the effects of disc dessication or drying of the disc. I have 10 herniated discs in my spin from my neck down. A collapsed disc can and will definatley cause pain, in most ppl. Some get lucky. Ultimatley mine has led up to fusion of my lower lumbar spine with titanium hardware and cages. I will be undergoing yet another operation to fix levels l1-l34. My last operation failed so i will also be having a revision surgery and the l5/s1 level. I have a unique case of DDD, that is accelerated greatly. I went from one bulged disc 4 years ago to 10 ruptured discs today. The schmorls nodes are little holes in your vertebrae that can cause pain and problems with the discs, as well as structural problems if they themselves become a nuisance. i have schmorles nodes in multiple levels of my spine. From what i have researched its not really a common disease. Done let anyone tell you that you are not having pain if you are, it took me a long time, mainly due to my age to prove my case. A discogram proved that these discs do cause pain and extreme pain in my case. a discogram is a provacative test to induce pain to try to re-create the pain you have from the discs in your spine. I would not recommend this test unless you absolutley have to, and it is pretty much required for fusion surgery for sufferers of DDD and other conditions. I would not wish that pain on my worst enemy, 25+ out of 10 on the pain scale. thats another story though. Anyway sorry for rambling, write back for pm me if you have questions i know a bit about this condition and have been down the road. take care and try to hang in there
  • jem777jjem777 Posts: 6
    edited 11/20/2015 - 8:37 PM
    Schmorl's nodes are defined as herniations of the intervertebral disc through the vertebral end-plate. They were first described by a German pathologist, Christian G. Schmorl in 1927. These lesions are believed to be associated with trauma, especially in the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae.
    It is generally agreed that trauma likely precipitates the actual formation of the Schmorl's node, but a possible congenital origin of a vertebral end-plate defect has also been suggested. In the maturing spine the epiphyseal plate may represent a weak spot of annular attachment, allowing for some discal material to extrude, causing an interbody nuclear herniation. It is now generally accepted that these nodes could predispose the disc to degenerative changes at an earlier onset, especially when observed in the earlier age groups.

    Various configurations of nuclear herniation of the inter vertebral disc have been described either occurring circumferentially through the annlus fibrosus or through the cartilage end-plates above and below. It has been noted that there is a high frequency of Schmorl's nodes in the adolescent males at the lower thoracic and upper lumbar levels; the nodes are believed to be caused by either a congenital weakness of the end-plate at the site of the notochordal canal or scarring of the degenerated blood vessels supplying the juvenile disc.
  • Unfortunately, you will get different answers from different dr's regarding many back conditions. ~X( Some are ready to perform surgery on ANY abnormality, even if it isn't clear that there is an actual problem, or symptoms. Others will exhaust all options, and you in the process, trying everything short of hanging you over a cliff for the day before beginning a conversation about surgery. :W We need to be informed, and ask questions, and when necessary, get as many opinions as needed to feel comfortable and that at least 2 doctors are on the same page.

    However, some information just doesn't always add up:

    Website #1. Schmorl's nodes are common, especially with minor degeneration of the aging spine. Schmorl's nodes usually cause no symptoms, but reflect that "wear and tear" of the spine has occurred over time. Schmorl's nodes are a helpful x-ray finding as an indicator of degenerative process that may be affecting a patient's spine.

    Website #2. Schmorl's nodules tend to occur after trauma to the spine that causes wear and tear to it over time. Usually, if repeated trauma caused the formation of Schmorl's nodule, the patient does not remember a specific motion that caused the pain to begin. It may also be possible that people can be born with Schmorl's nodules. Also, some people may be born with weak bones that surround the spine, which makes it easier for the disk to enter the bone.

    So again, what are we to do with so much conflicting information? I, personally, just stopped looking, and decided to trust my doctors for my current condition. I still firmly believe in research and being an informed patient, but at some point you have to find a doctor and surgeon you can trust to treat you with the best possible outcome. :)
  • When a MRI showed 2 collapsed discs pinching 3 nerves, I got 3 opinions. My options were fusion, pain pump, or spinal cord stimulator. I opted for fusion and for me it was the best choice. I rarely need my cane and my mobility is greatly improved.
    Faith M
  • rich newtonrrich newton Posts: 1
    edited 11/20/2015 - 8:39 PM
    Hi I am 23 years old and I have been having back pain since I was 18 it all started with a herniated disc and then about 6 months ago four more herniated disc... The pain has never really gone away since 18 and now just days ago I have been told I have a bulged disc, 5 vertebrae with schmorals nodes, and my s1 is lumbarized but my doctor says he doesn't think that is the cause of my severe low back pain and leg pain and weakness..... So he says I need to see an orthopedic any thoughts or comments that may help me understand this? I don't think my doctor believes that I am in as much pain as I am because of my age??? Thanks in advance for any comments and or replies

    This is a very old post, the original poster has not been online for more than 4 years

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