Facet overhang: A novel parameter in the pathophysiology of multifidus muscle atrophy

Michelle Chua, Khalil Salame, Morsi Khashan, Dror Ofir, Uri Hochberg, Ran Ankory, Zvi Lidar, Gilad J. Regev*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The relationship between degenerative zygapophysial joint (facet) arthropathy and multifidus muscle atrophy has not been rigorously evaluated. The purpose of this study was to determine if specific morphological features of degenerative facet arthropathy are correlated with multifidus muscle atrophy. We retrospectively reviewed medical records and imaging studies of patients with lumbar spinal stenosis. Facet overhang, bridging osteophyte formation, facet effusion, and facet angles were evaluated by univariable and multivariable regression to identify independent associations with deep and superficial parts of the multifidus total cross-sectional area (tCSA), functional cross-sectional area (fnCSA), and fatty infiltration (FI). Facet overhang was classified as severe in 50 females (53.2%) versus 56 males (36.9%) (p = 0.030). Severity of facet overhang and female sex were independently associated with smaller deep part of the multifidus tCSA and fnCSA as well as higher FI, reflecting greater atrophy of the deep region compared to total muscle mass. In comparison, severe facet overhang (p < 0.001; OR = 3.47, 95% CI = 2.13–5.66) and female sex (p < 0.001; OR = 4.19, 95% CI = 2.58–6.79) were independently associated only with higher superficial part of the multifidus FI, reflecting muscle steatosis without significant lean muscle atrophy. In patients with degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis, facet overhang is an independent risk factor for deep part of the multifidus atrophy. Bridging osteophyte formation, facet effusion, and facet angles were not independently associated with deep part of the multifidus atrophy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1129
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Anatomy
Volume35
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • cross-sectional area
  • facet arthropathy
  • fatty infiltration
  • lumbar spinal stenosis
  • multifidus
  • muscle atrophy

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