Degenerative disc disease is a condition that often occurs as the body ages. This condition affects everyone, but it does not always cause pain or noticeable symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about degenerative disc disease and when you should talk to your doctor about spine surgery near Los Angeles :
Why Discs Degenerate
As the body ages, the discs in the spine can start to change. Degenerative disc disease typically affects the lower back and the neck, which could put more pressure onto the spinal cord and the nerves. When it affects these areas, it usually causes severe pain. These changes in the discs might be a result of normal wear and tear, a loss of fluid, or small tears or cracks. People who smoke, work in physically demanding jobs, or spend a lot of their lives overweight are more likely to suffer from painful symptoms of degenerative disc disease.
How Degenerative Disc Disease Affects the Body
Many people who have severe degenerative disc disease have significant pain in the neck that spreads down through the shoulder blades and into the arms. They might also experience numbness or tingling, trouble with hand dexterity, and difficulty walking. If you think you are dealing with these symptoms, the doctor will give you a thorough physical exam through which he or she can look at your flexibility and range of motion to determine if degenerative disc disease is the source of your pain.
How Degenerative Disc Disease is Treated
If your doctor has diagnosed you with this disorder, you can use ice or heat to try to reduce your pain. If you need stronger treatment, you can also take over-the-counter medication or get a prescription from your doctor. Degenerative disc disease could cause other problems like osteoarthritis, a herniated disc, or even spinal stenosis. If you develop any of these conditions, you might need stronger treatments like physical therapy or even spine surgery to alleviate your pain.
Marina Spine Center is internationally recognized for excellence in spine surgery and overall spine care. What makes patients travel from all over the world to see our spine surgeons serving Los Angeles? This video explains more.
At Marina Spine Center, we’re able to provide a one-stop shop for spine care. When you see one of our spine surgeons, you will be sent immediately for diagnostic imaging at our associated hospital and then come right back to learn your diagnosis. From there, our spine doctors can prescribe necessary treatments, from spine surgery to other pain management techniques, including spinal injections. In addition to our seamless process, patients receive the highest possible level of care, from their initial consultations throughout the all-important recovery period.
The lumbar spine is the portion of the spine that runs through your lower back. It is a common source of back pain, and several different conditions can cause patients to need lumbar spine surgery . Why might your doctor recommend lumbar spine surgery in Los Angeles? Here is a look at some of the conditions that frequently impact the lumbar spine.
Lumbar radiculopathy occurs when damage to the vertebral discs causes nerve irritation. Damage to a disc can happen through normal wear and tear or traumatic injury. As a result of the damage, the disc protrudes from its normal location and pushes against the nerves. In the lower back, radiculopathy often impacts the sciatic nerve, which causes pain that radiates from the lower back down one leg. In severe cases, lumbar radiculopathy can cause incontinence in the bladder and bowels. Spinal injections can help with the pain in some patients, but spine surgery is often necessary.
If the vertebrae move or grow, the bones may encroach on the spinal cord and nerves. Several different things can cause bony encroachment in the lower spine, including arthritis, spondylolisthesis, and spinal stenosis. Like radiculopathy, bony encroachment can cause sciatica pain that gets worse with walking. Physical therapy and spinal injections help with pain related to bony encroachment in some patients, while others benefit from spine surgery to decompress the impacted nerves.
Bone and Joint Conditions
Congenital spine conditions, including scoliosis and spina bifida, can lead to lower back pain. For these patients, the need for spine surgery depends on many factors, including patient age and the severity of the symptoms. Degenerative bone and joint conditions can also play a role, particularly osteoarthritis that can cause damage to the facet joints. Most patients with degenerative diseases do not need spine surgery. Lastly, injury to the bones and joints of the spine, such as compression fractures, may lead to lumbar pain that can be resolved with surgery.
After lumbar spine surgery in Los Angeles, it’s important to follow your surgeon’s advice for recovery to avoid unnecessary complications. Failing to stick to your schedule for physical therapy or trying to be active before you are cleared by your surgeon can even compromise the results of your spine surgery . Here is a look at what you can expect after your procedure.
Immediately after your spine surgery, you will remain in the hospital while your pain is managed and you learn how to care for your wound and move around safely. You will likely begin physical therapy in the hospital as well. The length of your hospital stay depends on the type of surgery you undergo. Patients who have minimally invasive surgery are usually discharged sooner than patients with open procedures. Your spinal surgeon will provide you with information about home care, including how to take your pain medication, what the signs of complications are, and how active you should be. Be sure to report any concerns about symptoms to your surgeon right away and wait for an OK before you start driving or lifting things again.
- Lumbar Spine Surgery
- Spine Surgery
- Marina Spine Center
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Back Pain
- Herniated Discs
- Non-Operative Options
- Lower Back Pain
- Cervical Spine Surgery
- Thoracic Back Pain
- Spinal Stenosis
- Minimally Invasive Surgery
- Epidural Injection
- Sports Injuries
- Stress Fractures
- Pinched Nerve
- Spine Fusion
- Microscopic Foraminotomy
- Neck Pain
- Back Injuries
- Spinal Injuries
- Spinal Injections
- Athletic Spinal Injuries
- Conservative Care
- Torn Ligaments