How does surgery treat degenerative spinal diseases?

Henry Pallatroni, MD from Portsmouth Regional Hospital discusses surgeries that are used to treat degenerative spinal disease in this video.
Colin Haines, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
Find out how surgery can treat the bone-against-bone friction caused by some degenerative spinal diseases in this video with spinal surgeon Colin Haines, MD from Reston Hospital Center.
Degenerative spinal diseases are the most common cause for spinal surgery, says Rick Placide, MD from Chippenham Hospital, in this video. Three commons ways to improve these conditions are correction, stabilization and decompression.
Degenerative spinal diseases are usually a combination of the disc wearing out and arthritis, says Mark Myers, MD, spine surgeon at Frankfort Medical Center. Watch as he explains the surgical procedures that help relieve symptoms. 
Luke Macyszyn, MD
Decompression is the main technique used during spinal surgery for degenerative disease. It involves removing bone spurs or overgrown ligaments from nearby nerves or the spinal cord to relieve pressure. The most common procedure in spine surgery is laminectomy. During a laminectomy, a bony structure (lamina) in the area of the affected spine is removed to create move space for the spinal cord and nerves. If you have improper spinal alignment or instability, this decompression procedure may be combined with a spinal fusion. A spinal fusion joins two or more parts of the spine to prevent abnormal movement, restore normal alignment, and prevent further degenerative changes in that spine area.
Gregory P. Gebauer, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
The kind of surgery used to treat degenerative spinal diseases depends on the issues the patient experiences, says Gregory Gebauer, MD, with Fawcett Memorial Hospital. Watch this video to learn about different degrees of surgical pain. 

Surgery is one approach used to treat some types of degenerative spinal diseases. Most treatment starts with a conservative, non-surgical approach. In cases where conservative treatment does not relieve pain after six months, surgery may be an appropriate next step. The goal of any spinal surgery is to reduce pain and improve range of motion. The type of surgical technique used depends on the type and severity of the degenerative spinal disease. For example, if you suffer from spinal stenosis, your surgeon may fuse two or more vertebral bones together to decrease undesired movement between the vertebrae. In other cases, such as a herniated disk, your surgeon may remove all or part of the disk.

Continue Learning about Degenerative Spinal Disease

Degenerative Spinal Disease

Degenerative Spinal Disease

The term degenerative spinal disease does not refer to any one disorder of the spine, but is a general term that covers many types of disorders that cause wear and tear on the bones and tissues of the spine. This kind of spinal pr...

oblem is usually part of the normal aging process, but many people are more prone to spinal problems than others. Some common degenerative spine disorders are herniated disc (sometimes called slipped disc), a condition in which there is a bulge or a rupture of a disc that pushes against the spinal nerves. With the nerve compression comes pain and possibly numbness. Herniated disc can improve on their own, or you may need surgery. Spinal stenosis is another common back problem. This is a term that describes narrowing of the spinal canal and a build up of tissue that causes pain, stiffness and difficulty walking and moving around. See your doctor to determine the best treatment for your degenerative spine disease.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.