Spondylosis may be accelerated by injury

Spondylosis may be accelerated by injury to the spine, but more often this condition develops as a result of the natural weakening of the spine with age.

Spondylosis is a condition that describes the presence of deterioration at different levels of the spine. This umbrella term isn’t a diagnosis, but may explain the source of neck or back pain. For example, the degeneration of the spine caused by a damaged disc or joint could fall under the term spondylosis. In some cases, injury that causes short term neck or back pain can contribute to spondylosis later in life.

While spondylosis is associated with the degeneration of the spine, it does not always result in back pain. For many patients, there is a level of spinal degeneration that goes unnoticed because it is not compressing a nerve root. However, if a nerve root is compressed, symptoms of pain, limited mobility and muscle weakness may develop.

Spine degeneration

Spondylosis most commonly develops in the lumbar spine (lower back) and cervical spine (neck) because of the burden of weight and stress placed on these areas of the spine.

Over the years, this pressure takes its toll on the spine and eventually the discs, joints and vertebrae begins to deteriorate. This process often develops gradually and can take many forms:

  • The soft discs that cushion the spine weaken, thin or rupture
  • The facet joints that interlock adjacent vertebrae become inflamed and arthritic
  • Osteophytes, or bone spurs, develop in the spinal column
  • The spinal canal and foramina gradually narrow causing nerve compression (stenosis)
  • Muscles, tendons and ligaments slowly weaken

Spondylosis can also be accelerated by injury. While traumatic injury can certainly contribute to spinal deterioration, minor injury from repetitive motions like lifting or bending and high-impact sports also wear on the spine and can lead to advanced deterioration earlier in life.

Treatment

If you are experiencing neck or back pain, visit your physician to determine whether spondylosis or injury is the cause. In many cases, pain and symptoms can be managed with a steady course of conservative treatments, including the use of pain medication, physical therapy and heat/cold therapy.

However, if your pain continues, you may be a candidate for the minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. Our procedures offer several advantages over traditional open neck and open back surgery, including a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of complication. While many cases of spondylosis can be treated with a decompression surgery, some severe cases may necessitate a stabilization procedure. Both types of procedures are performed as an outpatient surgery in one of our regionally located surgery centers across the United States.

Contact Laser Spine Institute today for a review of your MRI report or CT scan to determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery.