Between our spinal bones are tough, rubbery discs that act as shock absorbers and spacers for the spine. These discs allow the nerve roots and nerves to pass through holes and spaces in the spinal column as well as enable the spinal bones to move—which provide the neck and back to bend, twist, and flex as we move about our day. These discs are necessary to enjoy activities and perform tasks throughout your day. Unfortunately, as we age, our spinal discs tend to break down and may cause serious pain and injuries.
When these discs break down, the condition is known as degenerative disc disease. The degeneration of your spinal discs may cause serious neck and back pain as well as other injuries. Many types of injuries are associated with degenerative disc disease, and you will want to speak with an orthopedic specialist about diagnosing your condition and developing a treatment plan. Our board-certified medical professionals at NJ Spine & Orthopedic have the training and knowledge to provide you with treatment and a pain-free life. Speak with our team about how you may receive treatment with our team.
Degenerative disc disease surgery involves removing what is causing pain and then fusing the vertebrae to control the spine’s movement. Your surgeon will first perform decompression surgery, which removes any tissue pressing on a nerve from the injured location. After removing any tissue causing problems, your surgeon will perform a type of spinal fusion that stabilizes your spine. There are various methods your surgeon may perform depending on your condition and pain.
To choose the best option for your condition, your medical professional will analyze your spine and recommend the best possible option for your recovery. With new and innovative technology, various options are available, and your doctor will inform you of the best possible option.
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While many people believe the first step for those with degenerative disc disease is surgery, there are many other options before your orthopedic specialist recommends surgery. If you’ve tried other pain management and treatment options and your pain continues to cause significant issues, your doctor will recommend surgery. Consider the following requirements before your doctor recommends surgery:
Recovering from surgery is a laborious process, and your body must be able to handle the process. For older generations, the body may not be able to handle the procedure or recover properly after the surgery. When you are relatively young or middle-aged, your body is more likely to benefit from the process.
If you cannot control your bladder or bowels, you may require immediate surgery. These symptoms are serious and are signs of serious injuries and issues with the spine. Immediately speak with your medical professional if you experience these symptoms.
After several months of non-surgical treatment options and you still suffer from severe pain, there is a potential significant need for surgical options.
Surgery may not be viable for those with multi-level disc degeneration since you may lose too much mobility in your spine due to the fusion process.
The cauda equina is a group of nerves at the end of your spinal cord. When compressed, there may be serious symptoms, including weakness in your legs, radiculopathy, extreme low back pain, and incontinence.
Artificial discs are a new development in spine surgery that has benefited those suffering from degenerative disc disease. While the technique is still relatively new, and there are limited long-term studies in the U.S. on its effectiveness, many find the artificial discs extremely promising.
You may require surgery when your discs suffer from degeneration and cause severe back pain. Many feel uneasy about the procedure. However, there are many benefits from the surgery, including:
Those who undergo surgery tend to recover within one to four weeks, depending on their general health and other underlying conditions. After your surgery, you must not lift anything heavy or perform anything highly active. Individuals with sedentary jobs may return to work within two to four weeks of the procedure. However, those with more strenuous jobs may not safely return to work for up to 12 weeks.
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If your pain is severe and you cannot enjoy or perform your daily activities due to degenerative disc disease, speak with a highly-trained orthopedic specialist at NJ Spine & Orthopedic about your diagnosis and potential surgical options. We devote our practice to serving those within our community who suffer from severe pain and will provide you with the treatment you need for significant pain relief. With our innovative technology and techniques, we will offer you the treatment you need to relieve your symptoms.
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