LIVING ART ENTERPRISES, LLC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LIVING ART ENTERPRISES, LLC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
This image demonstrates prominent bony spur formation, narrowing of the lumbar intervertebral disc spaces (indicative of advanced degenerative disc disease) and sclerosis of the vertebral endplates (edges of the vertebral bodies bordering the disc spaces). These types of degnerative change are widely prevalent in the general population and often the cause of back and leg pain. Plain film x-rays however do not adequately visualize the intervertebral discs directly or the soft tissues within the spinal canal such as the nerve roots. MRI is a better technique to determine the integrity of the lumbar discs and the nerve roots in the lumbar region.
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