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Modic changes of the cervical spine: T1 slope and its impact on axial neck pain

Authors Li J, Qin S, Li Y, Shen Y

Received 25 June 2017

Accepted for publication 4 August 2017

Published 24 August 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 2041—2045


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr E Alfonso Romero-Sandoval

Jia Li,1,2* Shuhui Qin,1,2* Yongqian Li,1,2 Yong Shen1,2

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Third Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, Peoples Republic of China; 2The Key Laboratory of Orthopedic Biomechanics of Hebei Province, The Third Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: The purpose of the research was to evaluate cervical sagittal parameters on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients with Modic changes and its impact on axial neck pain.
Methods: This study consisted of 266 consecutive asymptomatic or symptomatic patients with Modic changes, whose average age was 50.9±12.6 years from January 2015 to December 2016. Cervical sagittal parameters included sagittal alignment of the cervical spine (SACS), T1 slope, thoracic inlet angle (TIA), and neck tilt (NT). The Modic changes group was compared with an asymptomatic control group of 338 age- and gender-matched adults.
Results: In the Modic changes group, T1 slope was significantly higher (25.8º±6.3º) compared with that in the control group (22.5º±6.8º) (P=0.000). However, there was no significant difference of the NT, TIA, and SACS between the two groups. Patients in the Modic changes group were more likely to have experienced historical axial neck pain compared with the control group (P=0.000). With regard to the disc degeneration, it indicated that the disc in the Modic changes group had more severe disc degeneration (P=0.032).
Conclusion: T1 slope in the Modic changes group was significantly higher compared to that of the control group. The findings suggested that a higher T1 slope with broken compensation of cervical sagittal mechanism may be associated with the development of Modic changes in the cervical spine.

Keywords: Modic changes, T1 slope, axial neck pain, cervical spine

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