End Plate Fractures May Cause a "Pop"?

It is hypothesized that end-plate fractures are the most commonly misdiagnosed cause of LBP. An end-plate fracture results in a loss of nuclear fluids through the crack and into the vertebral body.

Stuart McGill reports that in the laboratory, compressive forces to the spine results in an audible “pop”? at the instant of end-plate fracture.

It may be hypothesized that an end-plate fracture may have occurred when patients describe an audible “pop”? during the onset of their LBP.

It is also hypothesized that some end-plate fractures are benign and cause no immediate severe pain.

End-plate fractures will result in a loss of disc height and eventual decrease in the size of the inter-vertebral foramen. Therefore, they are symptomatically indistinguishable from a true disc herniation.

Note: From my personal clinical experience, an audible “click”? (not a “pop”?) is often related to an SI dysfunction!

Posted on: September 15, 2004

Categories: Lumbar Spine

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