Sung M. Moon1,2, Jon H. Yoder1, Edward J. Vresilovic3, Dawn M. Elliott1, Alexander C. Wright2
1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States; 2Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, United States; 3Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilatation, Penn State University, Hershey, PA, United States
The intervertebral disc (IVD) undergoes more extensive structural and compositional changes with age and degeneration. With age and degeneration, tears appear within discs due to limiting diffusion of nutrients into the disc, alteration of chemical composition, and injuries. Disc tears are associated with low back pain. However, detection of tears is difficult and quantification of their characteristics is not possible. Radial tears are often visualized under discography, however their location and orientation is difficult to determine. Additionally, discography is an invasive procedure and involves exposure to radiation. Shapes and sizes of tears are intricate, and even multiple histological sections cannot reconstruct the complex 3D tear geometry. As a result, quantitative characteristics of the 3D human AF tear remain largely unknown. The objective of this study is to provide a non-invasive MR tools for 3D visualization, measurement, and the ability to precisely locate disc tear orientation within a disc.