Irrespective of its name, degenerative disc disease is not a disease but a natural occurrence that comes when you enter your golden years.
In degenerative disc disease, normal age-related wear and tear or an acute spinal injury cause one or more of your intervertebral discs to deteriorate over time. They may lose fluid, collapse, and rupture, leading to numbness, weakness, and pain radiating down the leg.
Let’s explore some ways your spine doctor can treat your degenerative disc disease and relieve symptoms and where you can go in The Lower Peninsula of Michigan for outstanding degenerative disc disease treatment.
Before looking into the types of non-surgical treatments, it’s important to mention that these treatment modalities cannot correct the structural deformity of your spine but are only designed to relieve pain and restore spine function. The common non-surgical treatments include:
Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) ease your back or neck pain and fight the inflammation. You can also take muscle relaxants to relieve pain associated with muscle spasms.
This involves strengthening and stretching exercises performed under the supervision of health care professionals to put off undue pressure from the degenerative disc and stave off inflammation and pain.
Other Pain Management Techniques
Pain management procedures used by the spine surgeons at Ahlgren Spine may include:
Radiofrequency ablation – electric current is used to heat up a small area of nerve tissue in the affected spine part. The electric current deactivates the nerve and stops it from sending pain signals.
Steroid Injections – cortisone shots are injected near your disc to reduce pain and inflammation.
Selective nerve root block – a combination of anesthetic and corticosteroid is injected around the nerve root (where it exits the spinal cord) to stave off inflammation and pain.
Surgery is considered when non-surgical treatments provide minimal or no improvement or when degenerated discs directly press on the nerves and cause considerable loss of function. Patients who experience associated bladder or bowel problems are also suitable candidates for surgery.
Spinal Fusion Surgery
As the most frequently performed surgery, spinal fusion involves fusing or securing two vertebrae together to stabilize your spine, stop its movement, and relieve pain. The neck and lower back are the most common sites of this surgery.
Spinal Decompression Surgeries
The common spinal decompression surgeries for degenerative disc disease involve:
Discectomy – As its name implies, in this surgery, your spine surgeon may remove a small part or whole degenerated disc to take the pressure off your nerves or spinal cord, thus helping relieve the symptoms of degenerative disc disease. This is often performed along with spinal fusion that helps reduce movement in the damaged segment of the spine.
Laminectomy – This helps make more space around the spinal cord by removing a small part of the lamina or complete lamina, which is a bony plate that protects your spinal canal and spinal cord.
Foraminotomy – This involves removing a bone or other tissue to expand the opening for your nerve root to exit the spinal cord.
Disc Replacement Surgery
Your surgeon will remove the partial or whole degenerative disc and replace it with an artificial disc. Lumbar disc replacement is a great alternative for you if spinal fusion is not suitable for your spine condition.
Orthopedic Spine Injuries and Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment Near Me in The Lower Peninsula of Michigan
If you have severe back or neck pain and suspect that it may be due to degenerative disc disease, seek a lasting solution from our skilled team at Ahlgren Spine Orthopaedic Surgery. Our spine surgeon will evaluate your spine condition and employ state-of-the-art technology combined with nonsurgical and surgical techniques to help treat your spine problem, restore mobility, and relieve symptoms for good.
To get tailor-made treatment for your degenerative disc disease, schedule an appointment by contacting us at (248) 215-8080 or by filling out our appointment request form online.
We look forward to serving you!