Modic changes in the cervical spine

M. Matsumoto, E. Okada, D. Ichihara, K. Chiba, Y. Toyama, H. Fujiwara, S. Momoshima, Y. Nishiwaki, T. Takahata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


We conducted a prospective follow-up MRI study of originally asymptomatic healthy subjects to clarify the development of Modic changes in the cervical spine over a ten-year period and to identify related factors. Previously, 497 asymptomatic healthy volunteers with no history of cervical trauma or surgery underwent MRI. Of these, 223 underwent a second MRI at a mean follow-up of 11.6 years (10 to 12.7). These 223 subjects comprised 133 men and 100 women with a mean age at second MRI of 50.5 years (23 to 83). Modic changes were classified as not present and types 1 to 3. Changes in Modic types over time and relationships between Modic changes and progression of degeneration of the disc or clinical symptoms were evaluated. A total of 31 subjects (13.9%) showed Modic changes at followup: type 1 in nine, type 2 in 18, type 3 in two, and types 1 and 2 in two. Modic changes at follow-up were significantly associated with numbness or pain in the arm, but not with neck pain or shoulder stiffness. Age (≥ 40 years), gender (male), and pre-existing disc degeneration were significantly associated with newly developed Modic changes. In the cervical spine over a ten-year period, type 2 Modic changes developed most frequently. Newly developed Modic changes were significantly associated with age, gender, and pre-existing disc degeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)678-683
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series B
Volume94 B
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012 May

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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