alexa Lumbar degenerative disc disease and tibiotalar joint arthritis: a 710-specimen postmortem study.


Journal of Pain & Relief

Author(s): Boiwka AV, Bajwa NS, Toy JO, Eubanks J, Ahn NU

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Abstract Research has associated lumbar spinal disease with lower extremity arthrosis. These studies focused solely on the lumbar spine's connection with hip or knee pathology, failing to investigate potential ankle relationships. We specifically explored the interplay between lumbar disc degeneration and tibiotalar joint arthritis. Lumbar disc degeneration and tibiotalar joint arthritis was graded 0 to 4, according to osteophytosis of the vertebral rim and talar surface in 710 randomly selected cadaveric specimens. We corrected for confounding factors of age, sex, race, and height. A significant association was found between lumbar disc degeneration and tibiotalar joint arthritis (P < .01). Lumbar disc degeneration encompassing 3 intervetebral discs demonstrated the highest odds for development of severe tibiotalar joint arthritis. Severe lumbar degenerative disc disease was more prevalent than severe tibiotalar joint arthritis in individuals age 20 years and older. Furthermore, the presence of severe lumbar degeneration significantly predisposes individuals to the development of severe ankle arthritis (P < .05). Gait changes resulting from disc degeneration or neural compression in the lumbar spine may play a role in ankle osteoarthritis development. This association must be considered when treating patients with lumbar disc degeneration and leg pain.
This article was published in Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ) and referenced in Journal of Pain & Relief

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