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Spine Degeneration - How Neurosurgery Can Help?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Shailesh Jain 86% (13 ratings)
Neurosurgeon, Delhi  •  17 years experience
Spine Degeneration - How Neurosurgery Can Help?

The spine is one of the most delicate bones of the body. It literally supports the entire body and helps us walk upright. Any damage or degeneration of the same can lead to dire consequences ranging from pain to paralysis. Spine degeneration is something that progresses over time and does not happen overnight. The normal structure of the disc will be gradually lost in such cases, and there may even be changes in the vertebrae.

The discs may start thinning slowly, which will lead to posture and other issues like pain and weakness. These problems may happen due to old age, arthritis, accidents which may have rendered some damage to the spine, as well as neurological problems where the nerves may get pressed due to an outgrowth or a bulging disc.

Here are the facts that you need to know about spine degeneration related to neurosurgery-

Spinal Stenosis: This is a condition where the spinal canal becomes progressively narrow which may further lead to many problems. In such cases, the spinal cord and the nerves around it tend to get pressed and pinched, which causes significant pain. This may happen due to several reasons including old age which changes the structure of the spinal cord, and other issues such as spinal herniation which causes the growth from the spine. It can also happen due to problems like osteoporosis or the existence of a tumor.

Symptoms: This congenital condition can affect the entire lunar area as well as the shoulders and the neck. It can also lead to painful sensations in the legs and lower regions. Many patients also complain of the loss of bowel control in extreme conditions.

Causes: The stiffening of the invertebral joint leads to the growth of a bony structure. This is known as an osteophyte formation which can lead to spondylitis. There are chances of people as young as 35 years of age, experiencing such a problem. These kinds of issues directly affect the nerves and cause pain in various areas of the body.

Treatment: In such cases, a laminectomy procedure or a de-roofing surgery will be required so that the bony outgrowth may be sliced off, for better recovery of the patient. This will also prevent the nerves from getting affected or pressed, which in turn helps in leading a more normal existence. The success rate is quite high for this kind of surgery, as per myriad medical reports and studies. Yet, it is not entirely suitable for older patients who have other complications.

Other Methods of Treatment: In many cases, the patient may be required to go through other forms of physiotherapy so as to deal with the issue. The patients may also be given epidural injections that have steroids so as to deal with the pain. This is also one of the most preferred methods of managing chronic lumbar area pain which is caused due to herniation and nerve pressing. Electronic stimulation methods such as a neuro modulation with the help of decompression and fusion may also be followed in such cases.

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