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When is surgery recommended for degenerative spine?

To some extent, everyone has to deal with a degenerative spine as they get older. The spinal column is a very important part of the body, protecting the central nervous system while also supporting the upper body and allowing for basic movement. Over time, the individual parts of the spine can start to wear down due to the stress put on them every day and natural changes that cause them to dry out and become brittle.

The term degenerative spine can include conditions such as bulging discs, herniated discs, spinal osteoarthritis and bone spurs, all of which can potentially cause painful irritation or compression of nerves in the spinal column.

To treat these conditions, doctors will generally begin with basic nonsurgical methods that include rest, exercise, over-the-counter medication and therapeutic massage. More involved treatments like physical therapy and spinal injections may also be attempted if symptoms persist for a longer period of time. In the majority of cases, spine surgery is seen as a treatment of last resort, but it can start to look like a viable option in certain situations.

Signs that degenerative spine surgery may be necessary

A doctor or spine specialist may recommend degenerative spine surgery for patients in the following circumstances:

  • A specific operable condition has been identified as the source of symptoms
  • Pain and other symptoms are seriously interfering with quality of life and relationships
  • The full range of conservative treatments have been exhausted over a period of months

Even in the above situations, many patients are still reluctant to undergo spine surgery due to the risks and difficulties involved. Patients considering degenerative spine surgery should make this important decision on as informed a basis as possible and be aware of all the surgical options available to them.

Minimally invasive degenerative spine surgery

At USA Spine Care, our board-certified surgeons+ can treat most degenerative spine conditions with minimally invasive spine surgery. By using a muscle-sparing approach, we can access the spine with a less than 1-inch incision that allows our procedures to be performed on an outpatient basis. To learn more about our procedures, dedicated medical staff and our state-of-the-art facilities, contact us today.

If you’d like to find out if you are a potential candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery, ask for your free MRI review.*

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