Schmorl's nodes (SNs) are commonly seen in vertebral imaging of the normal adult population referred for different reasons and are duly noted by the radiologist. However, little is known about their etiology: either SNs are perceived as largely inert developmental or congenital herniations of disc tissue into weak areas of the vertebral end-plates, or they are perceived as a common pathological pathway of different adverse and general factors such as malignancy, trauma, infection, osteoporosis, Paget's disease and so forth. A commonly accepted morphological definition of what precisely constitute SNs does not exist, and consequently prevalences vary wildly in the literature. In the present study of 4,151 standardized lateral radiographs of the lumbar spine in an adult, Caucasian population between 22 and 93 years (median age 63 years, M 1,533, W 2,618).
European Spine Journal : Official Publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society, 2013, Vol 22, Issue 8, p. 1907-12