Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment In Dallas
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) stems from age-related changes and general wear and tear to the discs within the spine that function as shock absorbers. DDD is not a true disease but a painful spine condition that can lead to long-term impairments without treatment.
What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Spinal disc degeneration develops when the rubbery cushioning of the spine wears down, causing the vertebrae to rub against each other. While usually brought on by the normal aging process, DDD can also be aggravated by acute injuries, such as a vehicle accident or fall.
Degenerative disc disease symptomatically affects about 20 percent of adults by age 65 and is common in the neck and lumbar regions. Besides advancing age, risk factors for degenerative disc disease include obesity and repeated back strain due to heavy repetitive lifting and high impact activities.
Identifying Symptoms and Warning Signs
When intervertebral discs lose water, they become dry and less elastic. Disc shrinkage and degeneration can occur anywhere in the spine but is most prevalent in the lower back and neck.
These are the most common symptoms of cervical (neck) disc degeneration:
- Neck pain and stiffness that comes and goes
- Pain, weakness, or tingling that extends to the shoulders, arms, and hands
Signs of lumbar disc degeneration often include:
- Pain in the low back that intensifies when bending, twisting, sitting, or lifting
- Pain, numbness, or tingling that radiates into the buttocks and legs
- Pain that flares up over a period of time and lessens with certain activities
Pain levels typically increase as the condition progresses, and nerves are further compressed by protruding discs and stenosis.
Diagnosing Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is diagnosed through a multi-step process that begins with a comprehensive medical evaluation and patient history. Dr. David Barnett, a degenerative disc disease specialist, will assess pain levels, muscle strength, and nerve function. Imaging tests such as X-rays, a computed tomography (CT) scan, and an MRI are often utilized to identify degenerative changes in the spine and rule out other conditions.
Non-Surgical & Surgical Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment
Dr. David Barnett takes a conservative approach when treating spinal disc degeneration. The first-line therapies generally include lifestyle modifications, physical therapy, non-steroidal medications, pain management techniques, and spinal injections to reduce inflammation. Surgery may be indicated if these measures do not provide significant pain relief.
There are several types of minimally-invasive spine surgery techniques that can alleviate pain caused by nerve compression and include the following:
- Lumbar Laminectomy
- Artificial Disc Replacement
- Spinal Fusion
Dallas Degenerative Disc Treatment
If you are experiencing neck or back pain that worsens with specific movements, or other symptoms of degenerative disc disease, we invite you to schedule an appointment with a board-certified Dallas neurosurgeon with more than thirty years of experience. Dr. David Barnett develops personalized treatment plans emphasizing non-surgical and minimally-invasive disc treatment.
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What Our Patients Have to Say
From start to finish, Dr. Barnett and his staff were always informative and professional. Dr. Barnett performed my neck surgery and lower back surgery all during a pandemic and everything worked out perfect. Highly recommend Dr. Barnett. Top notch.
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