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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can subchondral sclerosis be slowed down?

Answered by
Dr. Erion Spaho

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3333 Questions

Posted on Mon, 8 Oct 2018 in Brain and Spine
Question: I am 33yo male, had vertebral x-ray of upper lumbar and lower thorasic areas done. Findings - occasional Schmorl's nodes, scoliosis (1st degree), initial subchondral sclerosis. 1. What can I do about subchondral sclerosis (perhaps asymptomic so far), to help slow progression? 2. Is it common for my age? 3. What could be causes (sports? - no spinal injuries/trauma) 4. Can it be related to any autoimmune conditions (related to HLA-B27) or ankylosing spondyloarthropaties? Thank you!
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Osteoarthritis to consider.

Detailed Answer:


Subchondal sclerosis is mainly a feature of the osteoarthritis, relation with conditions such ankylosing spondyloarthopatjies is uncommon.

It is considered as a condition of ages older than yours in most of the cases, but rarely it can be encountered in younger ages too.

Genetics play a role as one of the risk factors for subchondral sclerosis and eventually osteoarthritis.

Since you are asymptomatic, slowing of the progression includes losing weight ( if you are overweight ), physical therapy, swimming, use of simple anti-inflammatory drugs such ibuprofen in case of pain, unloading affected joints.

Follow up with your Doctor.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
Follow up: Dr. Erion Spaho 1 hour later
Hello Dr. Erion, thank you for your response. My age vs osteoarthritis was my biggest concern/question. I am generally fit, am slightly towards higher side of BMI, but mainly due to muscle mass (body fat ~13%). I do quite some sports and am quite active (non-professional, 3-4 times per week, 1-1.5 hour), mostly bodyweight functional training, HIIT, martial arts, running. I am concerned whether having discovered these findings I should limit my training in any way? Thank you!
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho 14 hours later
Brief Answer:

You should be more careful now.

Detailed Answer:


It is not necessary to limit the most of the training, you only should be careful in weights loading on your articulations to prevent further cartilage damage.

If any symptoms that may point to osteoarthritis appear, then switch to other sports activities such as swimming, for example, may be necessary.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr Erion Spaho, Neurologist, Surgical
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng

The User accepted the expert's answer

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