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Houston, TX
A 27-year-old female asked:

i did an abdominal ct scan and one of the things it showed was degenerative bone changes. what can cause this in a young adult? i'm only 26.

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kenneth Casey
Neurosurgery 44 years experience
Relax: In the abscence of a family history of a bone disorder, the report of "degenerative changes" on an xray study often indicates the wear and tear we all place on our spine and pelvic weight bearing bones. If there are additional symptoms, such as localized pain, then a physician visit is in order.
Dr. Bruce J. Stringer
Radiology 47 years experience
Several Factors: I imagine that such changes were noted in the spine and/or hips? Overuse of the involved joint from repeated heavy lifting , prior injury to a joint, or overloading of the joint (obesity) can result in the early appearance of degenerative changes.
Dr. Joseph Accurso
Radiology 29 years experience
Do not worry: Wear and tear on our bodies happens all of the time. The question that needs to be asked is: "are the degenerative changes unusual for the patient's age?" current ct technology is capable of clearly showing structures 2 mm (a little bigger than 1/16 of an inch). We see many things which may not clinically significant, i.e., give the patient problems or cause pain.

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Last updated Mar 12, 2020
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