Schmorl’s Node: Definition

What is a Schmorl’s Node?

A Schmorl’s node, also known as an intervertebral disc herniation, is the protrusion of the cartilage of a disc through the adjacent vertebra. Instead of a typical disc herniation which protrudes into the spinal canal, this herniation protrudes into the vertebral body through a defect in the vertebral endplate.

Also known as intervertebral disc herniation

See here for more on Schmorl’s Node causes and treatments.

Incidence of Schmorl’s Nodes

In one study, Schmorl’s nodes were observed in 19% of patients with lumbar symptoms, and found incidentally in 9.4% of asymptomatic MRIs in a control group.

Source: Hamanishi C, Kawabata T, Yosii T, Tanaka S. Schmorl’s nodes on magnetic resonance imaging. Their incidence and clinical relevance. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1994;19(4):450-453. doi:10.1097/00007632-199402001-00012