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STUDY DESIGN Retrospective cohort. OBJECTIVES To investigate the effects of lifetime exposure to commonly suspected risk factors on disc degeneration using magnetic resonance imaging, and to estimate the effects of these suspected risk factors relative to age and familial aggregation, reflecting genetic and shared environmental influences. SUMMARY OF(More)
Although the etiology of most degenerative changes in the lumbar spine is unclear, genetic factors may play an important role. To investigate this link, we reviewed magnetic resonance images of the lumbar spines of identical twins to assess the degree of similarities in degenerative findings in the discs. Observers who were blinded to twinship evaluated(More)
BACKGROUND CONTEXT Disc degeneration was commonly viewed over much of the last century as a result of aging and "wear and tear" from mechanical insults and injuries. Thus, prevention strategies and research in lumbar degenerative changes and associated clinical conditions focused largely on mechanical factors as primary causes using an "injury model." The(More)
OBJECTIVE To examine the allelic diversity of structural, inflammatory, and matrix-modifying gene candidates and their association with disc degeneration. METHODS Subjects were 588 men ages 35-70 years. We investigated associations of single-nucleotide polymorphisms in AGC1 and in 12 collagen, 8 interleukin, and 4 matrix metalloproteinase genes with(More)
STUDY DESIGN Historical cohort, including selected subgroups. OBJECTIVES To understand the long-term effects of exercise on back-related outcomes, back pain, sciatica, back-related hospitalizations, pensions, and magnetic resonance imaging findings were studied among former elite athletes. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA Exercise and sports participation(More)
The primary objective of this study was to determine whether disc degeneration, as assessed through magnetic resonance imaging, is greater in smokers than in nonsmokers. To control for the maximum number of potentially confounding variables, pairs of identical twins highly discordant for cigarette smoking were selected as study subjects. Data analyses(More)
BACKGROUND Back problems are reported more by occupational drivers than by any other occupational group. One explanation is that whole-body vibration caused by the vehicle leads to accelerated disc degeneration, herniation, and associated symptoms. We aimed to investigate the effects of lifetime driving exposure on lumbar disc degeneration in monozygotic(More)
Twin studies suggest that both disc degeneration and back pain have a genetic component. We were interested in estimating the heritability of low back pain in men and examining whether genetic influences on back pain are mediated through genetic influences on disc degeneration. Thus, we conducted a classic twin study with multivariate quantitative genetic(More)
The debate continues as to which patient responds best to surgical versus nonsurgical intervention for painful degenerative disc syndrome. Discography is often used as the basis for that decision. In a review of 53 cases followed for an average of 20 months after surgery, only 50% of patients with type I (contained) discography and normal magnetic resonance(More)
Controversy centers on the determination of surgical fusion in lumbar spinal patients. What method best determines the nature of surgical arthrodesis remains unanswered. Numerous studies have investigated the accuracy of different radiologic tests. Although the best method has not been determined, plain radiography is certainly the most widely used in many(More)