haygarth's nodes

Schmorl's nodes

Schmorl's nodes are protrusions of the cartilage of the intervertebral disc through the vertebral body endplate and into the adjacent vertebra.


These are protrusions of disc material into the surface of the vertebral body, which may contact the marrow of the vertebra and lead to inflammation. The protrusions are also associated with necrosis of the vertebral bone and the question of whether these protrusions and inflammation cause the necrosis, or whether the cartilage migrates into areas that have become necrotic due to other conditions, is under investigation.

They may or may not be symptomatic, and their etiological significance for back pain is controversial.


Schmorl's nodes can be detected radiographically, although they can be imaged better by CT or MRI.


It is believed that Schmorl's nodes develop following back trauma, although this is incompletely understood.

Other reports indicate someone can be born with Schmorl's nodes.


Schmorl's nodes are named for German pathologist Christian Georg Schmorl (1861-1932).


  • McFadden KD, Taylor JR (1989). "End-plate lesions of the lumbar spine". Spine 14 (8): 867–9.
  • Peng B, Wu W, Hou S, Shang W, Wang X, Yang Y (2003). "The pathogenesis of Schmorl's nodes". The Journal of bone and joint surgery. British volume 85 (6): 879–82.
  • Takahashi K, Miyazaki T, Ohnari H, Takino T, Tomita K (1995). "Schmorl's nodes and low-back pain. Analysis of magnetic resonance imaging findings in symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals". European spine journal 4 (1): 56–9.

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