What is Degenerative Joint Disease?

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

What is Degenerative Joint Disease?

What is Degenerative Joint Disease?

Degenerative joint disease, also called osteoarthritis, is a condition that involves the deterioration of the protective, smooth articular cartilage of joints. This condition can affect any joint in the body, including the joints of the spine. Spinal joints are called facet joints. These joints are located posteriorly on each side of the spinous process. Facet joints allow the spine to flex forward, backward and side to side, but restrict rotational movements.

What causes degenerative joint disease?

Spinal osteoarthritis typically affects individuals who are older than 45. Continued wear and tear causes the cartilage of the joint’s articular surfaces to break down over time. This leads to the development of degenerative joint disease. While this condition can affect anyone, the following factors tend to increase a person’s chances for developing this spinal condition:

  • Obesity – Extra pressure is placed on the joints when they are forced to support excess weight.
  • Heredity (Genetics) – Some individuals may be predisposed to develop this condition.
  • Overuse – Excessive bending, twisting, lifting, standing, and sitting can contribute toward the deterioration of spinal joints. Certain occupations and sporting activities can lead to overuse of joints.
  • Gender – Osteoarthritis is twice as common in women as it is in men.

How is this spinal condition treated?

Individuals who have been diagnosed with degenerative joint disease of the spine are typically prescribed conservative treatments. These treatments include pain medications (either prescription or over-the-counter), anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, hot and/or cold compresses and intermittent rest. If conservative treatment methods fail to provide satisfactory symptomatic relief, surgery may be recommended. In this case, consider the minimally invasive procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute. Our outpatient procedures have helped tens of thousands of patients find relief from neck and back pain. Contact Laser Spine Institute for more information and for your MRI or CT scan review.

Browse Related Resources

Need an immediate response?

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

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

You can get these answers by attending a 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