What Is End Plate Sclerosis?

By Lexa W. Lee

End plate sclerosis is a medical term that refers to an increased thickening or density at the top and bottom of a vertebra. According to Spine-health.com, these end plates attach to intervertebral discs. Vertebra are separated from each other by these discs.

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End plate sclerosis is a medical term that refers to an increased thickening or density at the top and bottom of a vertebra. According to Spine-health.com, these end plates attach to intervertebral discs. Vertebra are separated from each other by these discs.

X-Rays

X-rays and MRIs can reveal these areas of increased whiteness, which indicate an increased buildup of calcium, according to Triangle Disc Care. This finding typically points to areas of greater stress on the bone.

Disk Degeneration

Disk degeneration can occur as a result of wear and tear over time. The disc begins to lose fluid. It may tear, collapse and cause inflammation in adjacent tissue, like the vertebra. Disc degeneration often leads to osteoarthritis and end plate sclerosis, according to the Center for Functional MRI at the University of California in San Diego.

Osteoarthritis

End plate sclerosis commonly occurs in the early stages of osteoarthritis, according to Triangle Disc Care. As the condition progresses, bone spurs or osteophytes form in the end plates.

References

About the Author

Lexa W. Lee is a New Orleans-based writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has contributed to "Central Nervous System News" and the "Journal of Naturopathic Medicine," as well as several online publications. Lee holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Reed College, a naturopathic medical degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine and served as a postdoctoral researcher in immunology.

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