What is Schmorl's node - Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

The spinal cord is a sensitive part of the body which is protected by vertebrae (bones). Shock-absorbing disks are present between these bones. Vertebral body is the major part of the bone, whereas nucleus pulposus is the central part of shock absorbing disks. When the soft disk fractures through lower or upper section of vertebral body, the nucleus pulposus comes into disk and the trauma is identified as Schmorl’s node or intravertebral disc herniations.

Generally, Schmorl's nodes are regarded as incidental asymptomatic finding. Most of the patients (teenagers) experience back pain around thoracolumbar junction which prevents them to take part in particular sports or perform specific motion.

  • Schmorl's nodes Definition
  • Schmorl's nodes Symptoms
  • Schmorl's nodes Causes
  • Schmorl's nodes Treatment
What is Schmorl's node - Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Schmorl's Node Definition

“Downward and upward extension of the soft tissues of the spinal cord into tissues of contiguous vertebrae is known as Schmorl’s node

In 1927, pathologist Christian, named Schmorl described the disease caused by displaced intervertebral disk tissues by cartilaginuous endplate. He observed the cartilaginous nodes in  thoracic spine (lower) and lumber. The disease is common in aging spine and can be detected through X-ray.

The lower and middle sections of spine are the areas where Schmorl’s nodes are noticed on frequent basis. It is observed that Schmorl’s node causes the deterioration of soft disks, placed between the bones covering the spine. 

Schmorl's Node Symptoms

•    There are no specific symptoms of Schmorl's nodes , except pain in the middle or lower part of the spine
•    Pain always occurs in the section where Schmorl's nodes is positioned
•    Stiffness in spine is often experienced by the patients, but in most cases the Schmorl's node does not cause warning signs
•    The teenagers (14 years to 18 years) commonly experience severe, moderate or mild pain due to Schmorl’s nodules
•    Apart from back pain, depressed mood, anxious mood, insomnia, impatience and fatigue are also noticed in Schmorl's nodes patients, but these are not the precise symptoms to figure out the malady

Schmorl's Node Causes

1-    In case, a person faces pain in the spine on the frequent basis, the trauma leads to wear and tear of this sensitive area. It may happen that some people are born with Schmorl's nodes or have weak bones which make it possible for shock absorbing discs to cross the bones.
2-    The deficiency of Vitamin D is another factor that makes the bones weak and prone to wear and tear.
3-    The vertebral bodies are soft and become ossified after teenage. If teenagers perform heavy weight lifting, the vertebra mislays the normal function and the person may face spinal deformity or Schmorl’s Nodes.

Schmorl's Node Treatment

Most of Schmorl’s nodes do not cause pain and are discovered when back area is examined due to some other reason. Though some patients feel back pain which is not treated by common therapies and are advised to have an MRI.

•    When treatment is necessary, vertebroplasty (surgical procedure) is considered as an effective treatment.
•    In case of active Schmorl's nodes, cement type injections are also used.
•    Instability of bones in association with active nodes can be treated by fusion surgery. The satisfactory success rate is reported along with improved functional ability and pain relief.
•    Antibiotics are effective approach to recover modic changes and disc herniation.
What is Schmorl's node - Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment What is Schmorl's node - Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment Reviewed by Simon Albert on January 30, 2017 Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.