Spondylosis can involve multiple structures in the spine
Click to view this video on the Anatomy of the Spine.
Spondylosis can come from excessive wear and tear in the spine. Some of the changes can be a normal part of the aging process. Other changes may be due to:
With age, the discs in the spine lose fluid, causing the disc height to decrease. The discs begin to dry out and become weakened. When this happens, the bones sit slower together and the spaces where the nerves exit become smaller. Disc degeneration can cause problems with the nerves.
Wear and tear that causes inflammation in the joints of the spine. Degeneration of the discs results in increased pressure on the facet joints. This increased pressure causes the cartilage of the facet joints to wear away. When the joints become damaged, they can become inflamed. With severe arthritis, the cartilage can completely disappear and bone spurs may begin to form.
Symptoms of Spondylosis include:
Your symptoms will depend on where the Spondylosis is affecting your spine. Spondylosis commonly occurs in the neck and the low back. The neck supports the weight of the head throughout a wide range of movements, This makes it more susceptible. The low back is also prone to develop spondylosis because it supports and distributes a majority of the body's weight.
More severe symptoms of Spondylosis can lead to nerve compression and loss of normal daily function. Some emergency symptoms to be aware of are:
If you have any of these symptoms you should see your doctor immediately.
Conservative treatment is used when possible to treat spondylosis.
There are cases when surgery is needed to correct issues form Spondylosis. If a patient does not respond to physical therapy or injections/meds, surgery may be needed. Surgery may be used to open the space in the spinal canal that may be limited by bone spurs or arthritis. Is cases of severe disc degeneration, a spinal fusion may be needed to stabilize the segment and limit movement.
To learn about Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion surgery, Read the Article.
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