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Fatty replacement of lower paraspinal muscles

Case contributed by Dr Bruno Di Muzio


MRI performed to assess lumbar radiculopathy.

Patient Data

Age: 75-year-old
Gender: Female

MRI Lumbar spine


Diffuse disc degenerative changes characterized by disc desiccation and posterior bulging involving all the levels from L1 to S1, no significant spinal canal or intervertebral foramina stenosis. The exiting nerves roots of L4 and L5 on the right are touched by the disc bulging. Prominent paraspinal musculature atrophy and fatty replacement. 

Case Discussion

This case aims to illustrate a prominent paraspinal muscles atrophy and fatty replacement in an elderly patient with chronic low back pain. Studies and daily contact with spine imaging have demonstrated an association between the paraspinal muscles insufficiency and low back pain. 


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