Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is the natural wearing down of the discs in your spine. This occurs in our bodies as we age or may develop at an earlier age due to injury, obesity, or a traumatic injury.
DDD is painful and can limit your range of motion. This makes it difficult for you to bend over and twist and may eventually make it difficult for you to walk or stand up.
Medical professionals have different options for treating DDD. There are some conservative methods that can help reduce pain and provide better support for your back. However, these are not always effective. When conservative methods aren’t effective enough to treat your DDD, you may need surgery.
Treating DDD with surgery
Spine surgery may sound scary, but the techniques used in many modern procedures are minimally invasive. This means the incisions are smaller, there are fewer risks involved and your recovery time is shorter.
The goal of spinal fusion is to join two or more vertebrae together to form one solid piece of bone in your spine. Surgeons frequently use this procedure to treat DDD because it can reduce pressure off the nerves in the spine that is caused by damaged discs.
Spinal fusion is available as a minimally invasive procedure in many cases, which means you can recover more quickly and get back to living your life.
Total disc replacement
Depending on which discs are damaged, total disc replacement may be a treatment option for your DDD. This procedure involves removing the old disc from your vertebrae and inserting an artificial disc.
This procedure is beneficial because it doesn’t the outcome is similar to having a natural disc back in your spine. This means you should have a better range of motion in your spine. However, total disc replacement is not always the best option. If multiple discs are damaged or if a disc is in a part of your back that is difficult to operate on, your surgeon may recommend spinal fusion instead.
Visit the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute for DDD treatment
Do you suffer from pain in your spine caused by DDD? If conservative treatments aren’t relieving your pain, it may be time to consider surgery. Contact our team today to learn more about DDD treatment or to schedule an appointment.