What is Degenerative Disk Surgery?

As you age, the connective tissues of the intra vertebral undergoes changes and deteriorates naturally. This degeneration of the disc in the moving segments of spine like the cervical and the lumbar disc, causes problem to some people making it impossible for them to do even their normal activities. Degenerative disk surgery is the answer to this problem when other treatments fail.

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Signs and Symptoms of Degenerated Disc

People with cervical disc problems have neck pain and occur when the person moves the head or even when they sit upright. The pain is lessened when they stretch out or lie down. The cervical root nerves stimulate the pain to the back of the head, hands and arms.

The person has numbness, burning sensation and tingling in these areas. In some cases, the degenerated disc causes severe headaches.

The degeneration of the lumbar disc causes back pain and the person experiences severe pain while sitting. Walking, standing for a longer period, bending and lifting objects becomes very painful for them.

The related nerve root pains are numbness, burning, tingling and pain from the buttocks and lower back to the leg are some of the problems suffered by people with lumbar disc degeneration.

Surgery is the solution for this degenerated disc when physical therapies and medications do not have any impact on the person to relieve the pain. When there is multilevel disc degeneration, surgery is not opted as the fusion treatment will make the person lose too much mobility of spine.

Surgery is not the solution for degenerated disc in the older people as they do not have the strength to recover from the surgery like the young people. However, depending on the condition of deterioration and the age of the person, doctor is the best person to decide on the surgery.

A person should immediately go for surgery when they have loss of control over bowel and bladder and when they experience the Cauda Equina syndrome. The traditional type of surgery for degenerative disc consists of two main sections.

Removal of the part that is causing pain to the person in which the surgeon removes the tissue that presses on the nerve that is called the decompression surgery.

Fusion of the spine to control movement, which is called the stabilization surgery.Usually the fusion and the stabilization surgery is done simultaneously. The latest technology has new surgical option where the degenerated disc is removed and an artificial disc is inserted in its place.

This relieves the person of the pain and keeps them mobile. The complications and risks that go with this degenerative disc surgery are:

Damage to the spinal cord or the nerves

The bony fusion does not heal

Urinary problem

Pain and swelling in the leg veins

The patient’s problem does not improve

Complications bring about more problems and more surgeries, so it is best to have an open talk with the surgeon, know the risks and side effects of the surgery taking the severity of the condition into account before deciding for this degenerative disc surgery.

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