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What is Spondylosis?
Spondylosis is a general term meaning “degeneration of the spinal column.” It is commonly referred to as “spinal arthritis.
What are the symptoms of Spondylosis ?
The most obvious symptom of scoliosis is curvature in the spine. Scoliosis often first appears during the growth spurts of a person’s teenage years. While scoliosis strikes girls and boys relatively equally, the condition tends to worsen in women in than men. Adult-onset scoliosis is usually a result of the wear-and-tear on the body that comes with age. Even if curvature is not pronounced or even invisible to the naked eye, MRIs and CT-scans can often pick it up. Other symptoms include:
Common symptoms of Spondylosis include:
- In the lumbar spine: pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and weakness in the lower back, buttocks, legs, and feet
- In the cervical spine: pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and weakness in the neck, arms, hands, and sometimes in the head
- In the thoracic spine (less common): pain in the mid or upper back, radiating through the stomach or chest, which patients often confuse for cardiovascular problems
Prior to having a surgical procedure to treat your spondylosis, conservative measures such as physical therapy, chiropractic, and steroid injections should be attempted.
What are the causes of Spondylosis?
Spondylosis is what is often called a “secondary disorder,” meaning it is the result of other harmful processes. Here are common causes:
Age-related wear and tear, which can lead to Degenerative Disc Disease
- Other conditions, such as arthritis, bone spurs, herniated discs, spondylolisthesis and others
- Back or neck strain due to repetitive physical activity, poor posture, imbalances in the musculature, or heavy lifting
- Direct physical injury such as a car accident or fall
- Genetics, whether or not the symptoms appeared in your parents
What is the treatment like for Spondylosis?
Treatment and procedure options for Spondylosis range from conservative options like injections to more intensive procedures like spinal fusions.
Conservative Options Conservative treatment options include nerve root blocks and steroid injections. These are designed to provide temporary relief (up to one year), and you may elect to have the procedure done multiple times. Other conservative strategies may include the placement of a spinal cord stimulator–or STIM–which is designed not to correct the underlying degeneration, but to lessen the pain the condition causes.
Decompression Decompression may be used for cases in which the structural integrity of the vertebrae or spinal cord is not threatened. These procedures concentrate on freeing entrapped nerves, typically be enlarging the space through which nerves pass. Depending on the demands of the procedure and your unique physiology, a special surgical laser may be used.
Fusion/Stablization Fusion, also called stabilization, procedures may be used when the stability of the spine or vertebrae are compromised or threatened. In some of these cases, more than one harmful condition may exist. While these procedures are minimally invasive and enjoy a high success rate, some patients may be required to stay overnight for observation.
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Truly Minimally Invasive
Incisions made are 5 millimeters or less in length, allowing for minimal scar tissue and less infection risk