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Degenerative Disc: A Deeper Look

Degenerative disc disease is a common wear-and-tear condition that causes back discomfort as you age. If you encounter symptoms or suspect having degenerative disc in Shrewsbury, Steve Paragioudakis, MD, and Dr. Menkowitz of the Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine can help. Call the Shrewsbury, Toms River, or Edison, New Jersey, offices to learn more or book an appointment online today.

What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative disc disease is a prevalent medical condition that primarily affects the elderly. It can cause chronic back pain and increase your risk of herniated discs, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, and radiculopathy (pinched nerves).

These side effects are due to a gradual deterioration in the health of your intervertebral discs. These elastic, shock-absorbent discs reside between each vertebra in your spine, protecting the bones and helping to support your spinal column.

Discs are built of a jelly-like substance on the inside and have a solid outer layer. Initially, discs contain a lot of fluid, but they start to dry out as you get older. Since your body does not replace the cells in the discs regularly, the consequences of wear and strain begin to take their toll. As a result, degenerative disc disease develops.

What Symptoms Does Degenerative Disc Disease Cause?

Because many people do not feel symptoms, you may have degenerative disc disease and be oblivious of it. Typically, problems appear when the disease causes nerve irritation or compression.

If you have degenerative disc disease in your lumbar spine, you could experience back discomfort that spreads into your legs. If the illness affects your cervical spine, you may suffer neck pain that extends into your arms.

You may also feel a decline in spine flexibility, resulting in chronic backache and chronic stiffness.

Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment

Your team at the Center for Functional Restoration of the Spine employs non-invasive treatments such as medication, activity modification, and physical therapy. These approaches are adequate for the majority of cases, while some may require further procedures such as:

  •         Percutaneous disc nucleoplasty
  •         Epidural steroid injections
  •         Spinal cord stimulation
  •         IDET (intradiscal electrothermal therapy)

If your degenerative disc disease keeps producing unbearable pain despite an extensive treatment regimen, you may wish to consider surgical options.

What Are the Surgical Alternatives for Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative disc disease may be remedied by the Center for Functional Restoration of the Spine team using:

  •         Endoscopic decompression
  •         Microdiscectomy
  •         Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)
  •         Artificial disc replacement
  •         Spinal fusion
  •         Dekompressor discectomy

The optimum procedure for you is influenced by the discs that need treatment, your age, and your overall condition.

Surgery

If other treatments are inadequate, your doctor may suggest surgery. A discectomy is a technique that removes the damaged section of the disk. This process relieves the strain on your nerves. Your doctor may resolve to remove the entire disk and replace it with an artificial one in some situations. After removing the disk, your doctor may fuse (permanently link) the bones in your spine if you have a significant condition.

Call the Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine experts or make an appointment online today to seek relief from the symptoms of degenerative disc disease.

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