Methods doctors use to make a degenerative disc disease diagnosis
A degenerative disc in the spine can cause symptoms of pain around the local area of the spine, as well as pain that radiates into the nearby extremities, such as the legs or arms.
The presence of pain and symptoms should be an indication to schedule an appointment with your physician to determine the source of your pain and find a treatment solution for pain relief. Before consulting your doctor, understanding the causes of a degenerative disc and what the diagnostic process is like can help you be more confident and engaged as a patient.
What to expect during a degenerative disc disease diagnosis
Degenerative disc disease is a condition describing the natural age-related breakdown of the spinal discs that cushion the vertebrae. Over time these discs begin to lose water and protein content, making them less elastic and less able to withstand the pressure placed on them from everyday movement. Degenerative disc disease can cause the discs to lose height, bulge or herniate and potentially lead to painful compression of the spine.
One of the first steps in diagnosing enfermedad degenerativa del disco and other spine conditions is to have a conversation with your doctor about your symptoms, medical history and current lifestyle. These questions can help your doctor not only diagnose your condition, but also use the information to help you find the most appropriate treatment options for your specific symptoms and your lifestyle.
After this discussion, the diagnostic process may continue with the following tests:
A physical exam — may include a physical exam of the painful areas, as well as tests for range of motion
A neurological exam — may include tests of reflexes and muscle strength
An X-ray — performed primarily to rule out fractures but also can indicate areas where vertebrae have shifted due to disc degeneration
An MRI — magnetic resonance imagery provides images that have better contrast between the soft tissues of the body, compared to an X-ray
A CT scan — computerized tomography gives a more detailed view of the body’s interior through computer-generated X-rays that produce cross-sectional images of the body
Inyecciones de bloqueo selectivo de la raíz nerviosa (SNRB) — by numbing a spinal nerve that is thought to be causing pain, a doctor can confirm the source of symptoms if they are temporarily relieved by this injection.
After the diagnosis
Si un degenerative disc disease diagnosis is confirmed, you and your doctor can work together to create a treatment plan. This often includes the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), exercise, stretching or epidural steroid injections.
If symptoms persist after several weeks or months of conservative treatment, contacto USA Spine Care to learn about the benefits of minimally invasive outpatient procedures performed using outpatient techniques. We offer a safer and effective approach^ to spine surgery with our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures.
Para saber si puede ser un candidato for one of our procedures, contact USA Spine Care and ask for a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan.*
^Los resultados son típicos, pero no están garantizados, la experiencia de cada paciente con la cirugía de columna será diferente.
Para más información visite usaspinecare.com/results. La información contenida en este sitio web es solo para fines educativos y no pretende sustituir un diagnóstico médico.
* Nuestra revisión de MRI es una revisión informativa del informe de MRI que nos proporciona y no es una forma de diagnóstico. Un diagnóstico y una determinación final de si puede beneficiarse del tratamiento en USA Spine Care solo se puede hacer después de que nuestros profesionales médicos en USA Spine Care lo hayan examinado físicamente. La revisión de MRI no tiene valor y no se facturará.