Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

BMC Vet Res


Animals; Annulus Fibrosus; Cartilage; Cervical Vertebrae; Diskectomy; Dogs; Intervertebral Disc; Intervertebral Disc Degeneration; Intervertebral Disc Displacement; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Male; Nucleus Pulposus


BACKGROUND: Discectomies are a common surgical treatment for disc herniations in the canine spine. However, the effect of these procedures on intervertebral disc tissue is not fully understood. The objective of this study was to assess degenerative changes of cervical spinal segments undergoing discectomy procedures, in vivo.

RESULTS: Discectomies led to a 60% drop in disc height and 24% drop in foraminal height. Segments did not fuse but showed osteophyte formation as well as endplate sclerosis. MR imaging revealed terminal degenerative changes with collapse of the disc space and loss of T2 signal intensity. The endplates showed degenerative type II Modic changes. Quantitative MR imaging revealed that over 95% of Nucleus Pulposus tissue was extracted and that the nuclear as well as overall disc hydration significantly decreased. Histology confirmed terminal degenerative changes with loss of NP tissue, loss of Annulus Fibrosus organization and loss of cartilage endplate tissue. The bony endplate displayed sclerotic changes.

CONCLUSION: Discectomies lead to terminal degenerative changes. Therefore, these procedures should be indicated with caution specifically when performed for prophylactic purposes.

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)