The impact of generalized joint laxity (GJL) on the posterior neck pain, cervical disc herniation, and cervical disc degeneration in the cervical spine.

The spine journal : official journal of the North American Spine Society

PubMedID: 27503265

Lee SM, Oh SC, Yeom JS, Shin JH, Park SG, Shin DS, Ahn MW, Lee GW. The impact of generalized joint laxity (GJL) on the posterior neck pain, cervical disc herniation, and cervical disc degeneration in the cervical spine. Spine J. 2016;.
BACKGROUND CONTEXT
Generalized joint laxity (GJL) can have a negative impact on lumbar spine pathology, including low back pain, disc degeneration, and disc herniation, but the relationship between GJL and cervical spine conditions remains unknown.

PURPOSE
To investigate the relationship between GJL and cervical spine conditions, including the prevalence of posterior neck pain (PNP), cervical disc herniation (CDH), and cervical disc degeneration (CDD), in a young, active population.

STUDY DESIGN
Retrospective 1:2 matched cohort (case-control) study from prospectively collected data PATIENT SAMPLE: Of a total of 1853 individuals reviewed, 73 individuals with GJL (study group, gruop A) and 146 without GJL (control group, Group B) were included in the study according to a 1:2 case-control matched design for age, sex, and body mass index.

OUTCOME MEASURE
The primary outcome measure was the prevalence and intensity of PNP at enrollment based on a visual analogue scale score for pain. The secondary outcome measures were (1) clinical outcomes as measured with the neck disability index (NDI) and 12-item short form health survey (SF-12) at enrollment, and (2) radiological outcomes of CDH and CDD at enrollment.

METHODS
We compared baseline data between groups. Descriptive statistical analyses were performed to compare the 2 groups in terms of the outcome measures.

RESULTS
The prevalence and intensity of PNP were significantly greater in group A (patients with GJL) than in group B (patients without GJL) (prevalence: p=.02; intensity: p=.001). Clinical outcomes as measured with NDI and SF-12 did not differ significantly between groups. For radiologic outcomes, the prevalence of CDD was significantly greater in group A than in group B (p=.04), whereas the prevalence of CDH did not differ significantly between groups (p=.91).

CONCLUSIONS
The current study revealed that GJL was closely related to the prevalence and intensity of PNP, suggesting that GJL may be a causative factor for PNP. In addition, GJL may contribute to the occurrence of CDD, but not CDH. Spine surgeons should screen for GJL in patientswith PNP and inform patients of its potential negative impact on disc degeneration of the cervical spine.