We have measured the dynamic movement of the lumbar spine in 57 patients with degenerative lumbar disc disease.Each completed a questionnaire which recorded pain and subjective signs and symptoms. From plain lateral radiographs, the subjects were graded using the criteria of Kellgren and Lawrence and those of Lane et al, which are both based on the severity of degenerative changes. Measurements of the height of the disc space and the vertebral height were obtained and expressed as a ratio.
We found no relationship between the characteristics of spinal movement and the overall grading of degenerative disc disease with either system.Both were influenced (p < 0.01) by age, walking distance, severity of symptoms, drug intake and frequency of pain. The present systems for grading degenerative disc disease from plain lateral radiographs have limited application.
J Bone Joint Surg [Br] 1998;80-B:1009-13.