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Spondylosis, also known as spinal arthritis, is a disorder that often worsens with age and results from normal “wear and tear” on the spine’s soft tissues as well as its bones. This condition can affect any portion of the spine, although it is most usually found in the cervical and lumbar regions, which are the highest and lowest parts of the spine, respectively. The thoracic (middle section) spine has a lower prevalence of the disorder, presumably because the rib cage stabilizes this region and protects it from the effects of aging and wear and tear.
The symptoms of spondylosis may or may not appear noticeable. Those who have no symptoms may only become aware of the illness while they are having their spine imaged by an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan in order to diagnose another medical condition. Pain and restricted range of motion are examples of symptoms that might appear. Symptoms can vary based on the place where the illness develops and the components that are impacted. One of the frequent symptoms of cervical and lumbar spondylosis is neck discomfort, while the other is low back pain. Patients may also experience pain, numbness, weakness, or tingling that radiates to the arms or legs when changes in the spine put pressure on nearby nerves.
This type of neuralgia results from compression or inflammation of the nerves exiting the spine. For example, a person has knee pain and thinks he has an injury, but later finds out that this pain is caused by spondylosis. Spondylosis compresses the nerves that run to the knee. People with spondylosis who otherwise feel no pain may experience spinal sprains, sensations, or sounds in the spine, along with a limited range of motion. When it comes to nerve or spinal cord injury, this is typically unimportant.
Is Spondylosis Serious?
There is no one solution to this problem since spondylosis can have a variety of effects on individuals. Physical therapy and painkillers are helpful treatments for many spondylosis instances. However, if the following signs of strain on the nerves are evident, orthopedists suggest getting more urgent care right away:
- Vulnerability, such as foot drop (difficulty lifting the toes and forefoot off the floor)
- Malfunction of the bladder or bowels, particularly incontinence
- Unable to control balance when standing
- Numbness that affects the fingers
- Excruciating pain that seems electrical or shock-like
What Distinguishes Spondylosis from Spondylolisthesis?
Despite its similar name, spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one of the vertebrae (the bones that make up the spine) slips, usually forward. Although this is a definitive diagnosis, spondylolisthesis can occur as a result of spondylosis that causes other structures in the spine to shift from their normal positions. Other conditions resulting from spondylosis include Spondylolysis, spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal, and degenerative disc disease, which refers specifically to the loss of intervertebral disc space.
What is Spondylolysis?
Spondylolysis often causes a pars interarticularis weakness, which is a weakening in the vertebral body. This tiny bone strand joins the facet joints, which attach the vertebrae just above and below to form a functional unit that allows the spine to move. These tiny bone strands will fracture and are known as pars fractures. Although the actual cause of the disability is unknown, your genes may have a factor. You might have narrow vertebrae from birth, which when weakened would make pars fractures more likely.
The bone fracture that causes spondylolysis can heal. After diagnosis, the initial course of action is to stop any moderate to vigorous exercise so that the fracture may begin to heal. Rest and light workouts at home are typically enough to manage the problem if there are no uncomfortable symptoms. Medical City Children’s Orthopedics and Spine Specialists provide several successful treatment options to assist and control symptoms if the spondylolysis causes pain.
Treatment for spondylolysis focuses on pain management and assisting patients to get back to their regular activities. You are not normally in danger of spinal cord damage or nerve damage if you have this disorder. Treatment options depend on the level of discomfort and include:
- Rest/break from sports
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Physical therapy for general fitness and muscular strengthening
- A lumbar brace
Physical therapy is very beneficial in spondylolysis. Acute and persistent pain has a wide range of reasons. Persistent pain may make it exceedingly challenging to do even the most basic daily chores, whether it is the consequence of a medical condition, accident, trauma, or just overuse. Physical therapy is frequently one of the first treatments recommended for pain. Doctors can treat pain conservatively and non-invasively. In order to develop strength and improve mobility throughout the body, physical therapy is a pain treatment strategy that involves carrying out low-impact exercises, stretches, and precise motions. When combined with other services, this improved strength and general functionality enables your body to handle physical pressures more efficiently and can alleviate pain. Physical therapists are those who practice physical therapy.
Physical therapists hold advanced degrees in their fields. Before they may see patients, they need to have a master’s degree and a state license. After evaluating your general health and well-being, a physical therapist will recommend a personalized physical therapy schedule. Physical therapy uses a wide range of exercises and activities, allowing for highly customized treatment plans for each patient. An effective physical therapy regimen can sometimes treat pain problems.
Surgery for Spondylolysis
Adolescents with lumbar spondylolysis occasionally have the option of surgery. With the aid of titanium screws, doctors can repair a fracture. An incision between two and three inches long is made in the lower back’s center to perform this procedure. In order to provide some compression across the region, the screw is inserted to join the fracture’s two sides. In order to assist the restoration even further, a bone graft (a piece of bone from another part of the body) may be employed. It takes 3 hours to treat, and it takes 2-3 days to recover at the hospital.
In order to heal at home, most teenagers will need to miss two to four weeks of school. This surgery has been very successful in eliminating back pain associated with spondylolysis. Most patients may resume their prior level of sports and activity without any pain. If it’s determined that spondylolysis has caused your vertebra to move forward, your doctor can recommend surgery. Spondylolisthesis, a distinct but connected ailment, is the name of this slippage.
Spondylolysis Surgery Recovery Period
The length of recovery depends on the kind of surgery, with minimally invasive techniques allowing a quicker return to normal activity. The majority of patients will finish a physical therapy regimen starting six weeks after surgery. The best method to stop spinal issues is to maintain a healthy weight and keep the supporting muscles strong and supple. Additionally, it is suggested that patients evaluate and correct any ergonomic issues that may have made their pain worse. For instance, elevating a computer display to eye level might prevent the propensity to lean forward when working at a desk.
Depending on what caused the spinal cord compression, doctors may consider a different type of surgery. The pediatric orthopedists at Medical City Children’s Orthopedics and Spine Specialists are adept at deciding which procedure is most appropriate for each child and his or her condition. With cutting-edge technology and skilled specialists ready to help you, we are experts in the treatment of “spondylosis.” We invite you to call today for an appointment.
Call 214-556-0590 to make an appointment.