What are the treatment options for spondylosis?
When a physician diagnoses a patient with spondylosis, treatment is likely one of the first topics of discussion. While this diagnosis may cause some anxiety, many patients are relieved to learn that spondylosis is often treatable through conservative nonsurgical means.
What is spondylosis?
Spondylosis is a general term for age-related spinal degeneration, including conditions like degenerative disc disease and spinal arthritis. Patients with spondylosis might experience neck or back pain, stiffness and inflammation and sensations of bone grinding against bone when they move. If an inflamed joint, bone spur or damaged spinal disc compresses a spinal nerve, then shooting pains, numbness, tingling or muscle weakness in their upper or lower extremities may be experienced.
What nonsurgical treatments are available to patients with spondylosis?
Initial spondylosis treatment plans will consist of a course of conservative treatments, including:
- Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen
- Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen
- Physical therapy
- Hot and cold compression therapy through alternating use of heating pads and ice packs
- Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, posture improvement, better nutrition and becoming more physically active
Does spondylosis ever require surgical treatment?
If nonsurgical treatments prove ineffective after several weeks or months, you may be advised to undergo surgery to decompress the affected nerve. Several surgical approaches exist for the treatment of spondylosis, including traditional open spine surgeries and minimally invasive procedures.
Traditional open spine surgeries:
- Require hospitalization
- Involve large incisions
- Require disruption of supporting muscles and other soft tissues
In contrast, minimally invasive procedures:
- Can be performed on an outpatient basis
- Require small incisions, sometimes less than 1 inch
- Cause less disruption of supporting muscles
- Pose a reduced risk for postsurgical complications such as infection^
Laser Spine Institute
If your physician has recommended surgical treatment for spondylosis, consider minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute as you explore your options. Because of our patient-centered care, Laser Spine Institute has earned a patient satisfaction score of 98.^