Questions? Call Toll-Free 1-

Contact us today. We're here for you seven days a week.

Contact Us By Phone 1-
Am I a Candidate for Surgery? Learn More
Request an MRI Review Submit Information

Types of Degenerative Joint Disease


Types of Degenerative Joint Disease

There are many types of degenerative joint disease. Adult onset rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the most common types. Any joint of the body may be affected, though the weight-bearing joints of the body, like the knees, hips and spine, are especially susceptible. When osteoarthritis affects the neck and back, the condition is referred to as facet disease or arthritis of the spine. In this case, the articular cartilage within facet joints deteriorates. Although primarily caused by the natural aging process, the condition can be exacerbated by factors like genetics, gender, obesity, illness or infection.

How does joint disease affect the different levels of the spine?

Mild degenerative joint disease may remain completely asymptomatic or produce only short periods of discomfort or joint stiffness. Severe degenerative joint disease, or facet disease, may cause joint enlargement, or hypertrophy. Additionally, bone spurs, also called osteophytes, may develop. Both facet joint hypertrophy and bone spurs can cause neural compression and produce radiating symptoms. Osteophyte development may cause painful joint lockage, joint deformity and reduced range of motion. The condition will affect each level of the spine somewhat differently:

  • Cervical region – Can cause pain, tingling or joint stiffness in the neck; symptoms may radiate through the shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers.
  • Thoracic region – Sharp pain or throbbing may develop in the middle back, around the rib cage, kidneys and chest.
  • Lumbar region – Pain, weakness, or numbness may travel from the lower back and down through the hips, buttocks, legs, and feet. Joint instability may also occur.

Minimally invasive treatment options

Once your physician confirms a diagnosis of spinal degenerative joint disease, he or she may prescribe a regimen of conservative treatments such as pain medication, physical therapy, gentle stretching, hot-cold compresses and intermittent rest. If weeks or months of these methods do not mitigate your pain, your physician may recommend spine surgery. In this case, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive procedures are a more effective alternative to traditional open back surgery. Laser Spine Institute has helped tens of thousands of people find relief from neck and back pain. Request a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan today.

Need an immediate response?

Our live chat feature allows you to talk instantly with a representative.

  • - -

Download your free info packet on
Degenerative Joint Disease
& receive our e-newsletter.



What is Laser Spine Surgery? Can Laser Spine Institute Help You?

You can get these answers by attending a complimentary medical seminar.

Back to Health

Be inspired, informed and connected.

Expert answers, informational videos and inspiring stories of patients who returned to life at its fullest with Laser Spine Institute.


Laser Spine Wellness

Patient Reviews and Stories

Natalie Gulbis shares her story about her road to recovery from back pain after minimally invasive surgery.



Learn about Natalie Gulbis' Recovery

Meet our Physicians and Surgeons

Our medical professionals know that you expect excellence in terms of medical attention. We strive to go Above and Beyond your expectations and deliver quality, patient-centered care at each of our surgery centers.

Learn about our physicians & medical staff