Goal of the Study?
Why are they doing this study?
Spontaneous regression of herniated lumbar discs has been well researched. However, spontaneous regression of herniated cervical discs has not been examined to the same extent. For this reason, the authors felt it essential to do a review of the existing literature, as well as one case study.
What was done?
Using PubMed and EMBASE databases, the authors found 75 cases that related to “spontaneous regression,” “herniated cervical disc,” and “MRI studies.” Patients averaged 41 years of age and were split equally male and female. In addition, they used a case study of one patient who had been experiencing neck pain for three weeks, right upper extremity radicular pain and right C7 distribution weakness and numbness. This patient’s cervical MRI showed a suitable paracentral disc extrusion at the C6-C7 and right C7 root compression. The patient did not want surgery and instead chose management with pharmaceuticals. At the same time, he reported improvement, three months after an MRI showed spontaneous regression of the C6-C7 disc extrusion.
What did they find?
The most predominant symptoms identified in the literature review were neck pain or radiculopathy (91%) and myelopathy (9%). The discs were paracentral or foraminal in 61 cases (84% of the total cases) and central in 12 cases. The literature illustrated a higher incidence of spontaneous disc regression in the paracentral/foraminal lesions. Discs mainly were located at the C5-C6 (31 cases) and C6-C7 (22 cases) and were most frequently extruded or sequestrated. The average period between the initial presentation and spontaneous regression of herniated cervical disc on MRI scans was 9.15 months. Using MRI, the studies illustrated that extruded/sequestrated discs were more likely to undergo spontaneous regression than protruding discs.
Why do these findings matter?
Reviews such as this can better understand how and when to treat spontaneous regression of herniated cervical discs.
Do you have a model to show this regression?
At Dynamic Disc Designs, we have models to help show patients the retraction of the nucleus pulposus to assist in the management and education of patients with disc herniation.