Nódulos de Schmorl en poblaciones del pasado. Consideraciones sobre su patogenia

  1. Carlos Emilio González Reimers 1
  2. Alejandra C. Ordóñez 1
  3. Jared Carballo Pérez 1
  4. Selene Rodríguez Caraballo 1
  5. Emilio Vacas Fumero 1
  6. Efraim Marrero Salas
  7. Matilde Mercedes Arnay de la Rosa 1
  1. 1 Universidad de La Laguna (España)
Majorensis: Revista Electrónica de Ciencia y Tecnología

ISSN: 1697-5529

Year of publication: 2021

Issue: 17

Pages: 1-8

Type: Article

Export: RIS


Introduction: Schmorl nodes are frequently
observed, both in modern and past populations.
They have been attributed to an excessive
mechanical load on the spine. Case description: A
T12 vertebra belonging to an adult prehispanic
inhabitant of Tenerife (ca. 900 BP), recovered
from commingled remains of a collective burial in
Llano de Maja, Tenerife. This vertebra presents in
the central part of the upper plate of the vertebral
body an osteolytic lesion, measuring 15 x 8 mm
and 6 mm depth, surrounded by a sclerotic rim.
This lesion is compatible with a large Schmorl
node. The vertebra also showed asymmetrical
degenerative changes affecting the left articular
surface of the pedicle, and anterior wedging (22
mm vs 29 mm). In addition, a small erosion was
detected at the posterolateral right margin of the
vertebral body, a lesion compatible with a lateral
Discussion: Literature review shows that
pathogenetic mechanisms leading to Schmorl
herniation are still unclear. Although genetically
conditioned alteration of fibrocartilage
composition may play a role, relationship with
degenerative changes, osteoporosis, or an
excessive physical load are poor, besides possibly
some specific practices such as riding or
motorcycling (out of discussion in the present
context). Conclusion: The possibility of a
congenital alteration of cartilage formation, such
as that described in Scheurmann disease, might
explain all the changes observed in this vertebra,
especially if excessive loading was also present.