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The association between Modic changes and pain during 1-year follow-up in patients with lumbar radicular pain

Objective: To examine whether Modic changes influence pain during a 1-year follow-up in patients with lumbar radicular pain. Materials and Methods: A total of 243 patients with lumbar radicular pain due to disc herniation were recruited from two hospitals in Norway and followed up at 6 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months. On baseline lumbar magnetic resonance images, two observers independently evaluated Modic changes (types I–III; craniocaudal size 0–3). Outcomes were sensory pain (McGill Pain Questionnaire), back and leg pain (visual analogue scale, VAS). Association between Modic type and outcomes was explored with a mixed model and then by two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) at each time point with Modic and treatment groups (surgical, n = 126; nonsurgical, n = 117) as fixed factors, adjusted for disc degeneration, age, sex, smoking, and duration of radicular pain. Modic size was also analyzed using ANOVA. Results: Pain scores had decreased significantly at 1-year follow-up. Modic type was significantly related to McGill sensory scores (mixed model: p = 0.014–0.026; ANOVA: p = 0.007 at 6 weeks), but not to VAS back pain or VAS leg pain scores. At 6 weeks, the mean McGill sensory score was higher in Modic I than in Modic II–III patients (p = 0.003) and in patients without Modic...

Schistad, Ellina Iordanova; Espeland, Ansgar; Rygh, Lars Jørgen; Røe, Cecilie; Gjerstad, Johannes
Skeletal Radiology 43(9): 1271–1279
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