What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
The spine has 33 vertebrae each separated by a disc. The conditions of degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and disc herniations are all treated differently. Traditionally degenerative disc disease has been treated with a fusion. This has changed and now most conditions can be treated with a disc replacement.
Disc degeneration can affect people as young as twenty, depending on a variety of factors including lifestyle, previous injuries, overall health, and genetic predisposition. Most people will experience some level of cervical disc degeneration in their lifetime, although the degree of symptoms varies from individual to individual.
Disc Degeneration Symptoms
Patients suffering from cervical disc degeneration often experience symptoms such as:
- Reduced range of motion
- Back Pain
- Nerve Compression Symptoms: Pain, Numbness, and Weakness
Disc Degeneration Diagnosis
Confirmation of cervical disc degeneration begins with a thorough exam, including an evaluation of neck range of motion and neurological examination. Confirmation of the diagnosis is made through using diagnostic imaging including: X-Ray, MRI, and/or CT Scan. Correlating exam findings, imaging findings, and diagnostic injections usually leads to the correct diagnosis and thus the correct surgery.