Spondylosis FAQ | Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re looking for some basic information about spondylosis, you’re in the right place. Below, you’ll find some of the most frequently asked questions concerning spondylosis.

Q. What is spondylosis?

A. Spondylosis is an umbrella term for the degeneration of the spine. It encompasses a variety of spine conditions, such as spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, spinal osteoarthritis and others.

Q. What causes spondylosis?

A. The true cause of spondylosis is the damage done to the spine over years of use. Some conditions like osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis can contribute to the deterioration of spinal elements. There are also risk factors than increase the likelihood that a patient will develop spondylosis, such as traumatic injuries, the presence of tumors, genetic predisposition, repetitive physical stress and obesity. Typically, the most directly correlated risk factor is age.

Q. What are the symptoms?

A. Spondylosis symptoms depend on the specific condition present, but they generally fall into two categories: localized symptoms and radiating symptoms. Localized symptoms occur at the site of the issue – around a herniated disc, for example – and they may include dull aching, limited movement or a feeling of instability. Radiating symptoms affect remote areas of the body when nerves in the spine are impinged by other issues like bulging discs and bone spurs. Symptoms like pain, numbness, weakness and tingling sensations can affect the shoulders and arms in cervical spine degeneration, and they can impact the buttocks, thighs, legs and feet in lumbar spine degeneration.

Q. What are some treatment options?

A. Treatment options vary depending on the cause and location of the spondylosis. Physicians generally recommend that patients follow a regimen of conservative treatments, including attending physical therapy sessions, taking over-the-counter or prescription pain medications, and applying heat and/or cold to the affected areas. In many cases, these efforts provide relief from the pain and other symptoms, but rarely, patients who experience inadequate relief are recommended for surgery.

Q. Will I need surgery?

A. If you’ve been through conservative treatments and found them to be unhelpful in alleviating your symptoms, you may want to consider surgery. When it comes to surgery, remember that there are many options available to you. There are traditional open spine procedures from other providers, and then there are minimally invasive options offered at Laser Spine Institute.

Contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn more about our minimally invasive spondylosis procedures.