Objective: The purpose of this study was to report on the prevalence of Modic changes (MCs) in a group of Netherlands military men who were scheduled for surgery (lumbar discectomy).
Methods: This was a retrospective observational study of health records. From 133 patients in active military service seen from January 2004 to March, 77 case files were selected. For all subjects who met inclusion criteria, the health records and T1- and T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging files of lumbar levels L4/L5 and L5-S1 were assessed. Data including age, sex, rank in military, level of lumbar herniation, and level of MC including their types were evaluated.
Results: Nineteen subjects (24.7%) showed presence of MC at the level of disk herniation, 5 subjects (6.5%) showed MC at a different level, and 10 subjects (13%) showed MC at both levels. In total, 154 segments were analyzed on magnetic resonance imaging for present MC of which 44 levels (28.6%) showed MC type I (31.8%), type II (65.9%), or type III (2.3%). Higher age showed to be significant (P ≤ .001) on developing MC, but no significance was found for physical workload in relation to these changes.
Conclusions: For the subjects in this study, MCs were most common at the lower lumbar spine segments, with a predominance of type II. In this study, the presence of a disk herniation and MC at the same level was 37.7%; however, a significant association was not demonstrable.
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