Medical Definition of Schmorl's node

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/11/2018

Schmorl's node: An upward and downward protrusion (pushing into) of a spinal disk's soft tissue into the bony tissue of the adjacent vertebrae. Schmorl's nodes, which are common, especially with minor degeneration of the aging spine, are detectable via X-ray as spine abnormalities. Schmorl's nodes are most common in the middle and lower spine. Schmorl's nodes usually cause no symptoms, but they reflect that 'wear and tear' of the spine has occurred over time.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018