Predictive factors associated with neck pain in patients with cervical disc degeneration: A cross-sectional study focusing on Modic changes

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Abstract

The predictive factors associated with neck pain remain unclear. We conducted a cross-sectional study to assess predictive factors, especially Modic changes (MCs), associated with the intensity and duration of neck pain in patients with cervical disc degenerative disease.

We retrospectively reviewed patients in our hospital from January 2013 to December 2016. Severe neck pain (SNP) and persistent neck pain (PNP) were the 2 main outcomes, and were assessed based on the numerical rating scale (NRS). Basic data, and also imaging data, were collected and analyzed as potential predictive factors. Univariate analysis and multiple logistic regression analysis were performed to assess the predictive factors for neck pain.

In all, 381 patients (193 males and 188 females) with cervical degenerative disease were included in our study. The number of patients with SNP and PNP were 94 (24.67%) and 109 (28.61%), respectively. The NRS of neck pain in patients with type 1 MCs was significantly higher than type 2 MCs (4.8 ± 0.9 vs 3.9 ± 1.1; P = .004). The multivariate logistic analysis showed that kyphosis curvature (odds ratio [OR] 1.082, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.044–1.112), spondylolisthesis (OR 1.339, 95% CI 1.226–1.462), and annular tear (OR 1.188, 95% CI 1.021–1.382) were factors associated with SNP, whereas kyphosis curvature (OR 1.568, 95% CI 1.022–2.394), spondylolisthesis (OR 1.486, 95% CI 1.082–2.041), and MCs (OR 1.152, 95% CI 1.074–1.234) were associated with PNP.

We concluded that kyphosis curvature, spondylolisthesis, and annular tear are associated with SNP, whereas kyphosis curvature, spondylolisthesis, and MCs are associated with PNP. This study supports the view that MCs can lead to a long duration of neck pain.

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