Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Disc Disease

This condition is typically associated with aging and is a gradual process. This disease can also affect young people. DDD involves the inter vertebral discs, cushion like structures between the vertebrae in the spine. These discs allow complex motion of the spine while maintaining stability. With age, the discs loose flexibility, elasticity and shock absorbing ability. Dehydration sets in and they become thinner. They finally become stiff and rigid, restricting movements resulting in pain. It commonly occurs in the low back or neck causing low back and neck pain.

Each disc is made up of a tire like outer band called annulus fibrosus and a gel like inner substance called nucleus pulposus. Degenerative disc disease changes these discs, making them prone to problems. They may herniate compressing the neural tissue inside the spinal canal.

Along with the disc degeneration other structures like facet joints, cartilage in the spinal joint sand surrounding ligaments may also be affected. The cartilage in the joints can wear and this leads to bone spurs as attempts by the body to repair. These bony spurs are called osteophytes.

Degenerative disc disease is not really a disease. It is normal wear and tear process of aging in the spine. The process weakens the disc structure and also dehydrates it. The water attracting molecules in the discs decrease along with the aging and this makes the disc more brittle.

MEDICAL TREATMENT:

  • Bed rest
  • Restricting activities to alleviate pain
  • Light exercises under supervision
  • Medication to alleviate pain

SURGICAL TREATMENT:

  • Facetectomy
  • Foramintomy
  • Laminectomy
  • Laminotomy
  • Discectomy
  • Corpectomy

ARE THERE RISKS FOR SURGERY?

  • Neurological injury
  • Non fusion of bone (pseudo arthrosis)
  • Failure to improve
  • Instrumentation breakage
  • Infection and bone graft site pain
  • Pain and swelling in the legs (DVT)
  • Urinary problems

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Dr. Sai Sudarsan

Pulse Hospital, Ranchi. India

Call / Whatsapp: +91-7702199330

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