Four surgery options available for degenerative joint disease in the spine

Degenerative joint disease, also commonly known as facet disease or spinal osteoarthritis, is characterized by the deterioration of the facet joints in the spine. The facet joints are the point where vertebrae in the spine connect, and bones in the joint are able to glide smoothly across cartilage that coats the joint. If this cartilage deteriorates to the point that bone begins rubbing on bone, degenerative joint disease can develop. Symptoms can include localized inflammation and back stiffness, and if a bone spur develops in the affected joint and comes in contact with the spinal cord or a nearby nerve root, additional symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness can radiate along the nerve pathway.

In many cases, the symptoms of this condition can be managed by following a conservative treatment regimen for several weeks or months to reduce the stress being placed on the spine. However, if conservative therapies don’t provide relief, surgery becomes an option. At Laser Spine Institute, we offer minimally invasive degenerative joint disease surgery that is often the clinically appropriate first choice and provides many advantages versus traditional open neck or back surgery.^

The types of surgical procedures we perform for degenerative joint disease include:

  • Facet thermal ablation. In this common degenerative joint disease treatment method, the inflamed nerves in the facet joint are deadened to eliminate the patient’s discomfort.
  • Foraminotomy. The goal of this procedure is to widen the foramen — the canals through which nerve roots pass to exit the spinal column — to eliminate pressure being placed on a nerve root.
  • Laminotomy. In this procedure, a portion of a vertebra is removed to relieve nerve compression.
  • Stabilization. In more severe cases, a minimally invasive stabilization procedure may need to be performed to fuse together adjacent vertebrae and stabilize the affected area of the spine.

If you are experiencing painful symptoms due to degenerative joint disease, Laser Spine Institute will provide a no-cost MRI review* to help determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive surgery, which has helped more than 75,000 individuals.

If you would like more information about outpatient degenerative joint disease surgery, as well as the other conditions we treat, contact Laser Spine Institute today.