Degenerative Disc Disease
Spine Surgeons in Orange County
Degenerative disc disease refers to symptoms and pain caused by the deterioration
and weakening of a spinal disc that protrudes into the spinal canal. It
is a condition common with aging, and results from natural wear and tear
caused by physical activity on the body and components of the spine. For
example, connective tissue in spinal discs can dehydrate and lose elasticity
and strength as a person ages. Discs can be further weakened by daily
activity that places pressure on the disc and its elastic outer layer.
When the outer ring of a spinal disc becomes weakened due to age, the inner
portion can slip out of place. This is known as a
herniated disc, and it is more likely to occur as a person gets older. A herniated disc
can affect any part of the spine, from the neck (cervical) to the
lower back (lumbar).
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) and a bulging disc can be diagnosed at
the same time, leaving some patients to question the difference between
these two diagnoses. Basically, degenerative disc disease is an age-related
condition that often can be a contributing cause or underlying reason
for a bulging disc.
Because a herniated disc can place pressure on the nerves and muscles surrounding
the spine, it can create a number of symptoms that affects a person’s
Common symptoms of herniated disc include:
- Pain, numbness, and tingling
- Radiating pain extending to the arms or legs
- Pain that becomes worse with movement, standing or sitting, or at night
- Muscle weakness
At the Center for Spine at Hoag Orthopedic Institute, our spine doctors
leverage a wide breadth of experience to help patients with degenerative
disc disease find effective and targeted treatment for their unique condition,
including herniated discs. Through accurate diagnoses made with state-of-the-art
diagnostic equipment, we can identify the severity of disc displacement
and the most appropriate course of treatment.
Treating Degenerative Disc Disease
Although the term degenerative disc disease may imply a serious disorder
that progressively worsens over time, it can be treated effectively. In
cases where non-surgical treatment does not provide relief and patients
still experience severe pain and symptoms that impede their ability to
work or perform daily activities, surgery may be required.
Treating degenerative disc disease and issues such as herniated, torn,
or ruptured discs may vary, but will generally be performed as either
minimally invasive surgery or traditional open surgery.
Minimally invasive spine surgery – Our spine surgeons at the Spine Center at Hoag Orthopedic Institute
have the ability and resources to treat degenerative disc disease and
herniated discs using minimally invasive surgical techniques. Minimally
invasive surgery is an alternative to open surgery, and it can be performed
on an outpatient basis. Depending on the nature and severity of a condition
and deterioration of a spinal disc, various minimally invasive decompression
surgeries may be used, including
discectomy, among others. The benefits of minimally invasive surgery include less
disruption to the muscles and tissues surrounding the spine, estimated
shorter hospital stays, and faster recoveries. Our specialists can help
you determine if minimally invasive surgery is the right option for you.
Traditional open surgery –
Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that permanently joins together one or more vertebrae
in the spine. Open spine fusion is performed through incisions that allow
access to a portion of the spine, removal of degenerated discs or portions
of a disc, and use of medical hardware to connect the vertebrae being fused.
Speak With a Spine Surgeon About Your Options
The Center for Spine at Hoag Orthopedic Institute is committed to personalized
care that helps patients find pain relief and improved mobility they need
to lead more productive and enjoyable lives. Learn why our spine surgeons
are trusted by residents throughout Orange County and why our award-winning,
orthopedic-specific hospital and two surgery centers are continually recognized
for our excellence.
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spine doctor today.
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