The Cervical Discs Degeneration Treatment


Cervical spondylosis is an age-related complication (Modic, Masaryk, Ross, and Carter 181). This occurs as the cervical discs degenerate with time. Studies suggest that at least 10% of the whole population is likely to suffer from this complication (Kolstad, Myhr, Arne, Nygaard, and Leivseth 415). The major interventions have been the use of discectomy and the fusion process (Hilibrand, Carlson, Palumbo, Jones, and Bohlman 526). These procedures have been used in the treatment of the symptoms related to cervical disc degeneration. Various researches have documented the possibility of certain treatment procedures causing more degeneration on other discs (Huges and Brownell 197). However, no research had been done to investigate the degeneration itself.

The current research emphasises on the need for accurate data during the performance of the routine checks that include the radiographs and MRIs (Frobin, Brinckmann, Kramer, and Hartwig 268). This accuracy is important since it determines the soundness of the decisions that are made. The data that is usually collected includes the disc height. The intensity of the signals received from the marrow and discs also provide information that is useful during the determination of treatment procedures. The current study argues that the MRIs are not very reliable when it comes to the collection of such information.

Research Objectives

One of the objectives of the study was to investigate the relationship between the results obtained from the MRI and those from the radiograph (height of the discs). The second objective was to determine the amount of errors that are associated with the use of the MRIs. These errors were classified as the inter-observer and the intra-observer errors (Irvine, Foster, and Newell 1090). The choice of the radiographs as the tool for comparison was in place since they usually provide accurate information.


The St. Olav’s University Hospital was selected as the study area for the research. The sample size was fifty-five. It consisted of twenty-nine women and twenty-six men. This sample size was sufficient to provide enough data for the study. The data that was collected included the disc height. The variables used (nucleus and bone marrow signals) were also appropriate for the study. The lateral view of the cervical spine was used and this was appropriate since it provides a good view for measurement. In order to provide accurate measurements, the whole segment of the cervical spine was to be visible. To ensure even greater levels of accuracy, computer software was used to adjust the figures appropriately in order to compensate for the errors caused during the instrumentation (Luoma, Vehmas, Riihimaki, and Raininko 682). These measures were appropriately used to eliminate the errors. Therefore, the data collected in the study was accurate. After the radiographs were collected, they were sorted in order to select only those that met the standards. This validity checks also ensured that the data was reliable.

Results and analysis

For reliability, Kappa statistics were used (Cohen 39). The analytic procedures were also similar to those of Landis and Koch (166). Since this study employed procedures accepted by other researchers, the results obtained were reliable. The results showed that the MRIs indicated a large gap between discs (disc height) during the initial stages of the condition.


The measure and analysis of the extent of cervical degeneration is important when it comes to the treatment of cervical discs degeneration. This data is important mainly during decision-making since it dictates the kind of treatment to be administered. However, the accuracy of this information may not be guaranteed if the MRIs are used. The current study has provided evidence to affirm this. In particular, the disc height during the early stages of the condition indicated a big difference. This indicates that the accuracy is questionable. However, further research is required on the subject since few researchers have studied this.

Works Cited

Cohen, Arnold. “A coefficient of agreement for nominal scales.” Educ Psychol Meas 20.1 (1960): 37–46. Print.

Frobin, William, Pete Brinckmann, Mullen Kramer, and Everton Hartwig. “Height of lumbar discs measured from radiographs compared with degeneration and height classified from MR images.” Eur Radiol 11.1 (2001): 263–9. Print.

Hilibrand, Ann, David Carlson, Met Palumbo, Paul Jones, and Hanna Bohlman. “Radiculopathy and myelopathy at segments adjacent to site of a previous anterior cervical arthrodesis.” J Bone Joint Surgery 81.2 (1999): 519–28. Print.

Huges, Joy, Boen Brownell. “Necropsy observations on the spinal cord in cervical spondylosis.” Riv Patol Nerv Ment 86.1 (1965): 196–204. Print.

Irvine, Dusk, Job Foster, Dunhill Newell. “Prevalence of cervical spondylosis in general practice.” Lancet 2.1 (1965): 1089–92. Print.

Kolstad, Frode, Gunnar Myhr, Kjell Arne, Oystein Nygaard, and Gunnar Leivseth. “Degeneration and height of cervical discs classified from MRI compared with precise height measurements from radiographs”. European Journal of Radiology, 55.1 (2005): 415-420. Print.

Landis, Ray, and Greg Koch. “The measurement of agreement for categorical data.” Biometrics 33.12 (1977): 159–74. Print.

Luoma, Kulman, Tevees Vehmas, Harris Riihimaki, and Ray Raininko. “Disc height and signal intensity of nucleus pulposus on magnetic reconance imaging as indicators of lumbar disc degeneration.” Spine 26.6 (2001): 680–6. Print.

Modic, Miriam, Jack Masaryk, Stone Ross, and Rivers Carter. “Imaging of the degenerative disc disease.” Radiology 168.1 (1988): 177–86. Print.

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