Results published in Orthopedics showed facet joint osteoarthritis was associated with a higher multifidus muscle-fat index, as well as bilateral multifidus size asymmetry.
“Facet joint osteoarthritis is strongly associated with the fat infiltration and the asymmetry of paraspinal muscle,” Bo Yu, MD, told Healio.com/Orthopedics. “Facet joint osteoarthritis may be more accurately viewed as the failure of the whole joint structure rather than simply the cartilage.”
Yu and colleagues used T2-weighted MRI to evaluate morphometric parameters, including cross-sectional area, muscle-fat index and percentage of bilateral multifidus asymmetry at L3-L4, L4-L5 and L5-S1, among 160 patients with acute or chronic low back pain diagnosed with facet joint OA on CT scan.
Results showed a smaller cross-sectional area and a higher muscle-fat index among patients with facet joint OA. According to results of multivariate regression analysis, facet joint OA was independently associated with older age and higher muscle-fat index at all three spinal levels. Researchers found an independent association between smaller cross-sectional area and facet joint OA only at L4-L5. Results showed an independent association between asymmetry of the bilateral multifidus cross-sectional area with facet joint OA at L5-S1; however, researchers noted asymmetry of the bilateral multifidus cross-sectional area did not seem to be responsible for asymmetric degeneration of the bilateral facet joints. – by Casey Tingle
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.