Common Spondylosis Types

Use this guide from Laser Spine Institute to learn the difference between spondylosis types.

Spondylosis is a common, catch-all term that is often used to describe various types of spinal degeneration. Specifically, this condition can be used to explain the age-related deterioration of the anatomical elements in the neck or back. With that said, it is important to understand that spondylosis is not a clinical diagnosis but rather a descriptive term. To identify the exact origin of your chronic neck pain, back pain or other spine-related symptoms, it is essential that you visit a physician to determine what’s causing your discomfort.

Forms of spinal degeneration

Here are some of the most common types of spondylosis that most often affect individuals later in life after their spines endure years of wear and tear:

  • Degenerative disc disease (DDD) – The deterioration of one or more of the intervertebral discs that normally cushion and separate adjacent vertebra. This condition is marked by discs that have weakened, bulged or ruptured, which can lead to the compression of nearby nerve roots and even the spinal cord.
  • Facet disease – The arthritic deterioration of one or more of the facet joints that connect adjacent vertebrae. Having this prevalent form of osteoarthritis means the cartilage that lines the facet joints has worn away, allowing for painful bone-on-bone contact. Of all of the spondylosis types, facet disease is the one most likely to cause the formation of bone spurs.
  • Spinal stenosis – The gradual narrowing of the spinal canal, causing the constriction of the spinal cord or nerve roots as they enter and exit the spinal column. Spinal stenosis is usually caused by other spondylosis types, such as bone spur formations (from facet disease) or herniated disc material (from DDD).

Treatment options

When it comes to treating the various spondylosis types, non-surgical techniques are often successful over the course of several weeks or months. However, when conservative treatment does not deliver acceptable results, other options may be considered, including the various minimally invasive spine procedures that we offer at Laser Spine Institute. To learn more about our outpatient techniques and determine your candidacy, contact us today.