Using digitized X-ray images, we analyzed measurements, including the vertebral body height and intervertebral disk height, with imaging software. (A) Digitized X-ray images of intervertebral disk segments obtained to compare presurgery (naïve), sham control and drill puncture. (B) Intervertebral disk height was calculated by averaging the measurements obtained from the anterior, middle and posterior portions of the intervertebral disk and dividing that average by the average adjacent vertebral body height. (C) The disk height index was measured nine weeks after surgery. The disk height index of disk degeneration (DDD) was significantly decreased compared to sham control (P < 0.01).