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Eight questions to ask before you start degenerative disc disease treatment

Degenerative disc disease treatment rarely involves surgery. In general, pain occurs only if a damaged disc or adjacent vertebra irritates or pressures the spinal cord or a nearby nerve root. Any resulting discomfort can often either go away on its own or be effectively addressed with doctor-recommended conservative remedies.

What’s going on?

In most cases, degenerative disc disease is a natural consequence of aging. Over time, the discs gradually lose their water content, which makes them less flexible and more prone to damage, such as herniation. This can also affect their ability to cushion the vertebrae and absorb shock as the spine flexes, bends and twists. If bone-on-bone contact occurs, bone spurs may develop. All of these conditions can potentially lead to irritation and painful pressure on spinal nerve tissue.

Before you start treatment

If you’ve been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and your symptoms require treatment, it’s important for you to explore all of your options. This is the best way to ensure that you will find an appropriate and effective treatment plan for you. With that in mind, here are some key questions to ask your physician before you begin degenerative disc disease treatment:

  1. What caused my condition and are there any ways to prevent it from worsening?
  2. What is the source of my pain?
  3. What is my prognosis, both with and without treatment?
  4. Do I have any nonsurgical treatment options?
  5. Could I benefit from taking medication, exercising or stretching?
  6. Should I consider surgery? Why or why not?
  7. If surgery is appropriate, which procedure would you recommend, and what are its risks and likely outcome?
  8. If I decide to have surgery, what will my recovery be like, and how soon can I expect to experience an improvement in my symptoms?

USA Spine Care

If you’re considering surgical degenerative disc disease treatment, you should proceed carefully and seek information to ensure that you can make well-educated decisions. You may be interested in knowing that the surgeons at USA Spine Care perform minimally invasive spine surgery, which is sometimes the clinically appropriate first choice and provides many advantages versus traditional open neck or back surgery.^

If you’d like to find out if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive, outpatient surgery at USA Spine Care, contact us to request more information.

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