Laser Spine Institute Treatment Options for Degenerative Joint Disease
Patients with degenerative joint disease affecting their spinal column can turn to Laser Spine Institute for minimally invasive surgical treatment options. Although many patients find relief through the use of conservative treatments such as exercise and pain medications, some patients have symptoms that don’t improve over months of nonsurgical treatment. At this point, one of our minimally invasive surgical procedures might be an appropriate option.
On this page, we’ll provide a brief overview of the approaches that we use to treat the effects of degenerative joint disease.
Facet thermal ablation
This procedure is performed on the facet joints of the spine. When the nerves within the joint are inflamed by degenerative joint disease (also known as osteoarthritis), they can cause pain and other symptoms; deadening them can be an effective means of stopping the discomfort, similar to a dental root canal. Our surgeons can complete the process of cleaning the joint and deadening the nerve using a minimally invasive, outpatient approach that typically takes less than an hour to complete.
This procedure entails clearing out a foramen, one of the small canals that allow nerve roots to exit the spinal column and innervate the rest of the body. These canals can become smaller because of the development of bone spurs as degenerative joint disease progresses, which can in turn lead to the impingement of the nerves passing through the holes. Our experienced surgeons can widen a foramen, giving the nerves more room and alleviating the symptoms caused by the pinched nerves.
Our surgeons also perform laminotomies — procedures that involve the removal of part of a vertebral lamina. The effects are similar to those of a foraminotomy — by giving the spinal cord more space, the surgery can reduce the issues associated with impingement.
Minimally invasive stabilization
In the most advanced cases, our surgeons can perform minimally invasive stabilization surgeries, also known as spinal fusions. Such procedures join adjacent vertebrae, thereby helping to control the motions of the joints in between the vertebrae that cause pain. As with our other procedures, this stabilization is performed in a minimally invasive manner, using small incisions and requiring no lengthy hospital stay to recuperate. Contrast this with more invasive, traditional open spine fusions that require patients to remain in the hospital for two to five days, and the minimally invasive alternative becomes a much more appealing option.
Contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn more about our treatment options for degenerative joint disease and to request your initial consultation with our orthopedic experts.