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Table 2 The number of graded discs at each lumbar disc level

From: Asymmetrical and smaller size of trunk muscles in combat sports athletes with lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration

  Grade I Grade II Grade III Grade IV Grade V
L1–2 139 (92.1) 12 (7.9)
L2–3 140 (92.7) 3 (2.0) 7 (4.6) 1 (0.7)
L3–4 130 (86.0) 9 (6.0) 9 (6.0) 3 (2.0)
L4–5* 99 (65.6) 16 (10.6) 25 (16.6) 11 (7.3)
L5–S1* 111 (73.5) 7 (4.6) 15 (9.9) 17 (11.3) 1 (0.7)
  1. * Significantly higher grades of lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration compared to that at L1–2, L2–3, and L3–4 disc levels (p < 0.001 for all). A total of 755 lumbar intervertebral discs in 151 combat sports athletes were classified into 5 grades (Grade I–V), based on Pfirrmann’s classification (Pfirrmann et al. 2001). This system uses characteristics of a disc structure, a distinction between the nucleus and annulus, MRI signal intensity, and intervertebral disc height for grading. Grade I and II denote normal. Grade III–V reflects that degeneration exists in the disc. The percentages of each grade at the disc levels are given in parentheses