Spinal surgery is used to treat a variety of conditions that affect the back and neck. In many cases, your spine doctor will advise surgery only after non-surgical spinal solutions have failed to provide spine pain relief in Los Angeles or improve your mobility. Under certain conditions when suffering from a spinal issue, you may benefit from considering spine surgery.
Sitting between each of your spinal vertebrae are cushioning discs of tissue called spinal discs. When one of these discs breaks or slips out of place, it results in a herniated disc. This condition can cause symptoms such as back pain or pain, weakness, tingling, or numbness in one of the limbs. If your doctor diagnoses you with a herniated disc, there are several treatments that he may recommend to provide spine pain relief. Conservative therapies such as rest, medication, and physical therapy are often sufficient for alleviating herniated disc symptoms. If these non-surgical spinal solutions fail to provide you with relief after an adequate period, then your doctor may suggest spinal surgery.
When a herniated lumbar disc affects one of the sciatic root nerves, which attach to several vertebrae of the spine, the result is a condition called sciatica. The sciatic nerves run from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down through the legs. Symptoms of sciatica often include low back pain or pain that begins in the buttock and reaches the thigh and sometimes the lower leg and foot. If you are diagnosed with sciatica, your doctor is likely to recommend non-surgical spinal solutions such as rest, medication, and physical therapy. If these treatments fail to provide you with sufficient relief, then it may be time to consider spine surgery.
Although scoliosis is often thought of as a childhood condition, it can occur in adults as well. Curvatures of the spine can develop for several reasons, such as undetected birth defects, as a secondary result of degenerative diseases, or spinal cord injury. When conservative treatments fail, your doctor may suggest surgery for scoliosis if you are experiencing chronic and debilitating pain or if the curvature continues to worsen.
When you see a spine specialist, he or she will begin treatment by determining the exact nature of your problem. For many people, back pain is the result of a disc disease, such as a bulging disc, herniated disc, or degenerative disc disease. Your spine doctor in Los Angeles will diagnose the nature of your disc problem before choosing a treatment plan. Watch this video to learn more.
In all of these conditions, a chronic or acute spinal injury that damages one or more discs causes pressure on the nerves in your back. This pressure causes pain that eventually sends many people to a spine specialist for treatment. The causes and symptoms of disc conditions vary depending on the nature of the injury, so your doctor will tailor your treatment plan accordingly.
Top 50 Most Powerful in L.A. Sports: No. 27 Robert Watkins, Sports Medicine
The top echelon of sports surgeons may consist of only Dr. Robert Watkins III and Dr. James Andrews. Dr. Watkins is an orthopedic spine surgeon whose practice is in Marina Del Rey. Watkins repaired Peyton Manning’s neck, Dwight Howard’s back and his clients include many other distinguished athletes. Read more about Dr. Watkins in the LA Daily News, Top 50 Most Powerful in L.A. Sports: No. 27 Robert Watkins, Sports Medicine .
Understanding Degenerative Disc Disease
As we age, the intervertebral discs in our spine tend to weaken and lose flexibility. Over time, the cervical spine goes through changes that can lead to pain and other issues. Keep reading to learn more about degenerative disc disease in Los Angeles and what you can do about it:
Degenerative Disc Disease
Everyone experiences some level of degenerative disc disease as they age, but this does not necessarily mean that everyone will have associated pain. The discs in between the vertebrae eventually lose flexibility, elasticity, and the ability to absorb as much shock. The ligaments that surround these discs can also weaken, which makes them more likely to tear. The nucleus pulpous at the center of the disc gets smaller. All of these issues are considered part of degenerative disc disease.
Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease can cause a variety of spinal issues. Many people experience pain in the neck that spreads down, or radiates, into the shoulder blades or the arms. Some people even have numbness or tingling in the extremities. Degenerative disc disease can also affect a person’s hand dexterity or the way that they walk. People who experience muscle weakness are usually at a more serious stage of the disease . Degenerative disc disease can also lead to sciatica and back pain. If you have any of these issues, you should schedule an appointment with a spine doctor who can give you a thorough exam to see if degenerative disc disease is causing your issues.
Treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease
When a doctor treats degenerative disc disease, he or she will focus on three separate areas: pain control, exercise and rehabilitation, and lifestyle modifications. Many people are able to control related pain with non-surgical treatments that help to relieve their discomfort. There are surgical solutions that can help, but they are used as a last resort. The doctor will also work with a patient to determine the best kind of exercise and rehabilitation to use to reduce pain. Doctors might also advise patients to avoid cigarettes and excessive amounts of alcohol, to drink a lot of water, and to incorporate certain types of physical activity into their daily routines.
Which Spinal Surgery Is Right For You? [INFOGRAPHIC]
Many spinal problems that cause pain, numbness, weakness, and immobility can be corrected through spine surgery. When you consult a spine surgeon serving Los Angeles , he will be able to recommend the most appropriate surgical procedure for you based on your diagnosis, symptoms, and general health. In many cases, minimally invasive surgery is an option for patients. Minimally invasive procedures offer many benefits over traditional surgery, including less damage to tissues and muscles, less post-operative pain, shortened recovery times, and better outcomes. To learn more about common spine surgeries like discectomy, fusion, disc replacement, laminectomy, and laminoplasty, read this helpful infographic. You’ll also find information about which conditions can be treated through spine surgery, such as degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, and pinched nerves. An experienced spine surgeon can determine whether you are a good candidate for any of these surgeries.
Understanding Degenerative Disc Disease
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.
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