The spine structure includes cartilage, discs, and vertebrae. Discs exist between vertebrae for their cushioning and thus allow the bending, flexing, and twisting of your back. As you age, some spinal discs wear and tear partially or wholly. By the time you reach over 35 years, you have about a 30% possibility of developing disc degeneration, which increases to over 80% by the time you are over 60 years old. Usually, disc degeneration does not involve pain. Degenerative disc Shrewsbury comes with symptoms such as back stiffness, loss of spinal motion, and leg pain. The degenerative disc may result from drying, cracking, excessive weight, or spinal diseases.
Other potential risk factors for the condition include certain genetic traits, injuries, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle. You may experience discomfort when you sit, twist, or bend. Consequently, below are the treatment options for the wear and tear affecting spinal discs.
Artificial disc replacement
Also called arthroplasty, the treatment procedure involves replacing a damaged or fractured spinal disc with an artificial disc.
An artificial spinal disc can support your vertebrae, which allows you to turn or bend sideways, forward, and backward.
The FDA has approved some artificial spinal discs made using materials like plastic and metals.
You may not be the right candidate for artificial spinal disc replacement if you are older and have severe arthritis, osteophytes, or limited motion.
Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion
The procedure may help eliminate your degenerative disc disease by fusing the bones in your lower back. As a result, your spinal cord and nerves will benefit from decompression and become more stable, preventing more issues in the same joint area later.
Your degenerative disc specialist will need a bone graft to fuse your spinal bones permanently. The bone graft may come from a bone bank or another area of your body.
Then, your doctor removes a portion of your spinal bone and joint to allow access to the affected disc between vertebrae.
Your surgeon may recommend wearing braces to support your back during healing and recovery. Moreover, you will have to take prescription medications to relieve pain.
Minimally invasive spinal fusion
During this particular way of treating degenerative disc disease, your surgeon creates minor cuts on the problematic spinal location. Your health expert then employs a tubular retractor for moving spinal muscles and other tissues aside and thus avoid cutting directly through them.
Tubular retractors or dilators create a space through the muscles and tissues to your spinal column.
If your surgeon does not have the best viewing area for addressing your issue, an endoscope may come in handy. Also, your surgeon may rely on intraoperative imaging technologies for guiding the procedure.
The tubular retractors remove cut sections of your spinal bone or disc. As a result, the surgeon performs bony fusion by using a bone graft or its substitutes.
Contact the Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine today to book an appointment with a degenerative disc specialist.