Degenerative spine disease
Degenerative spine disease, also known as degenerative disc disease, is a condition that develops in the natural aging process of the spine. The vertebrae of the spine are responsible for supporting and stabilizing the body. As the aging process occurs, many people experience weight gain, which increases pressure placed on the vertebrae of the spine. As the vertebrae compress, they squeeze the discs found between the vertebrae. Over time, the compressed discs slowly begin to deteriorate, often resulting in the development of other spine conditions like bone spurs or bulging disc.
Patients who have degenerative disc disease may experience symptoms of sudden pain when moving in a certain position or stiffness in one area of the spine. If you find yourself continually experiencing one of these symptoms, you should consult your physician to determine the cause of your pain and discomfort. Degenerative spine conditions, such as degenerative disc disease, can often be effectively treated with conservative therapies. However, some more severe cases of degenerative disc disease may require surgery.
Treatment options for degenerative disc disease
Mild cases of degenerative disc disease can often be treated by conservative therapies. Because this condition is caused by the compression of the vertebrae onto a disc in the spine, conservative treatments that aim to lengthen and stretch the spine are often effective in reducing the symptoms of this condition. These conservative treatments include:
- Chiropractic care
- Physical therapy
- Yoga and stretching
- Lifestyle changes, such as weight loss
- Swim therapy
- Hot and cold compresses
If you have tried conservative treatments for several months and have not seen an improvement in your condition, you may want to consider a surgical treatment to relieve your pain.
At Laser Spine Institute, we offer two types of minimally invasive surgery to help treat degenerative disc disease: minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization. Our minimally invasive surgery is a safer, more effective alternative to traditional open back surgery. We provide our patients with patient-centered care in a compassionate environment. Each procedure is performed in one of our seven world-class surgery centers across the country, and is considered an outpatient procedure. That means our patients are able to leave our facility the same day as their surgery is performed.
The surgery begins with the surgeon making a small incision in the back, about 1-inch in length. Through this incision, the surgeon will access the spine without disturbing any muscles or soft tissue. During our minimally invasive decompression surgery, the surgeon will remove a portion of the disc that is impacting the nerve in the spinal canal and causing your pain. While this procedure is effective on most forms of degenerative disc disease, some more severe forms of the condition may require a minimally invasive stabilization surgery.
During our minimally invasive stabilization surgery, the surgeon will remove the entire diseased disc. Once the disc is removed, the surgeon will insert an implant into the empty disc space, thereby moving the vertebrae of the spine back into normal alignment and relieving some of the pressure from the spine.
For more information about the minimally invasive procedures that have earned a 97 percent patient satisfaction score^ and a 98 percent patient recommendation rate, please contact our Care Team. We are here to help guide you through your journey to wellness.