Background Compelling evidence has shown that the incidence of lumbar disc herniation (LDH) increases with age. In this study, retrospective clinical analysis of 601 cases of LDH has been conducted to investigate the role of age in the incidence of LDH in the elderly. The aim of the study is to investigate the relationship between the process of aging and the occurrence of LDH in old adults. Methods Clinical cases (n = 601) of LDH were retrospectively analyzed. Results The imaging examination with computed tomography and/or magnetic resonance imaging showed the occurrence of degeneration in LDH patients over 65 years of age. The most common site of LDH is toward the bottom of the spine at L4–L5 and/or L5–S1. The incidence of LDH drops with age in the elderly, especially after the age of 80 years. There is an obvious decrease in LDH in the elderly female. Conclusion A decreasing incidence of LDH with aging occurs in the elderly. This investigation indicates that aging is not a contributor to the performance of LDH in the elderly although the incidence of LDH is proportional to age.