Degenerative joint disease surgery
Degenerative joint disease (DJD) surgery is a last resort treatment option for patients who are suffering from pain and symptoms associated with conditions like osteoarthritis or spondylosis. These conditions deteriorate the facet joints in the spine that allow the vertebrae to move and, ultimately, the spine to bend.
Many times, these conditions can be effectively treated with conservative therapy that focuses on lengthening the spine and creating space between the vertebrae for the joints to move. Such treatments include physical therapy and yoga, as well as pain medication to reduce the symptoms while the joints heal. Sometimes, these conservative treatments do not offer pain relief and a patient is left with a decision about whether or not to undergo degenerative joint disease surgery.
If you find yourself in a situation where spine surgery is your last resort for pain relief, we encourage you to contact our spine care experts at Laser Spine Institute. We can review your MRI report or CT scan and help you find a surgical alternative to traditional open back surgery that provides safer and effective treatment options.
Types of degenerative joint surgery available
When researching the surgery option that is right for you, it is important to be aware of the main surgery options available to treat your condition. Surgeries that may be useful include:
- Removal of osteophytes — These bony growths often develop in response to contact between two vertebrae due to the deterioration of the joints and cartilage that space the bones. The growths may protrude into the spinal canal, impacting the spinal cord or nerve roots. Removal of bone spurs can be performed as an open back surgery or as a minimally invasive surgery.
- Minimally invasive procedure — This procedure involves the use of a camera, small instruments and suction device to trim protruding tissue and release an impacted nerve root.
- Osteotomy — An osteotomy performed on the spine is a relatively rare occurrence and is a major undertaking. It involves cutting or breaking the vertebrae in an effort to address the spine’s alignment.
- Facet arthroplasty — The complete replacement of a facet joint (one of the joints located between the vertebrae) is also possible.
Minimally invasive procedures at Laser Spine Institute offer lower risk and higher patient satisfaction scores than traditional open back surgery. In order to reach the damaged joint and vertebra, our surgeon will gently cut a small incision and move around the surrounding muscles, not cut and tear them like traditional open back surgery requires.
Once the spine is accessed, two options may happen depending on the severity of the joint damage: Either the bone spurs and extra growths will be removed, or the entire vertebra will be removed and the spine will be stabilized with bone grafts and other stabilization material. The two options will be discussed between you and one of our spine care team once we review your MRI report or CT scan.
For more information about the surgery options for degenerative joint disease, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Let us help you take the next step on your journey to pain relief.