Effects Of Aging On Vertebrae


Effects Of Aging On Vertebrae

Effects Of Aging On Vertebrae

Effects Of Aging On Vertebrae

Aging of the IV discs combined with the changing shape of the vertebrae results in an increase in compressive forces at the periphery of the vertebral bodies, where the discs attach. In response,osteophytes (bony spurs) commonly develop around the margins of the vertebral body (along the attachments of the fibers of the outer part of the disc), especially anteriorly and posteriorly. Similarly, as altered mechanics place greater stresses on the zygapophysial joints, osteophytes develop along the attachments of the joint capsules and accessory ligaments, especially those of the superior articular process, whereas extensions of the articular cartilage develop around the articular facets of the inferior processes.

This bony or cartilaginous growth during advanced age has traditionally been viewed as a disease process (spondylosis in the case of the vertebral bodies and osteoarthrosisin the case of the zygapophysial joints), but it may be more realistic to view it as an expected morphological change with age, representing normal anatomy for a particular age range.

Correlation of these findings with pain is often difficult. Some people with these manifestations present with pain, others demonstrate the same age-related changes but have no pain, and still others exhibit little morphological change but complain of the same types of pain as those with evident change. In view of this and the typical occurrence of these findings, some clinicians have suggested that such age-related changes should not be considered pathological but as the normal anatomy of aging (Bogduk, 2012).

Source: Clinically Oriented Anatomy

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