Pathophysiology and Biomechanics of the Aging Spine

Michael Papadakis*, 1, Georgios Sapkas2, Elias C Papadopoulos1, Pavlos Katonis3
1 2nd Orthopaedic Clinic, University of Athens, Greece
2 1st Orthopaedic Clinic, University of Athens, Greece
3 Orthopaedic Clinic, University of Crete, Greece

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© Papadakis et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the 2nd Orthopaedic Clinic, University of Athens, Greece; Tel: 0036942489890; E-mail:


Aging of the spine is characterized by two parallel but independent processes: the reduction of bone mineral density and the development of degenerative changes. The combination of degeneration and bone mass reduction contribute, to a different degree, to the development of a variety of lesions. This results in a number of painful and often debilitating disorders. The present review constitutes a synopsis of the pathophysiological processes that take place in the aging spine as well as of the consequences these changes have on the biomechanics of the spine. The authors hope to present a thorough yet brief overview of the process of aging of the human spine.

Keywords: Spine, biomechanics, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis.