Schmorl’s Node: Definition

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

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