Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment Options
When treating Degenerative Disc Disease, conservative treatment options are always first considered. These methods include medications, physical therapy, or spinal cortisone injections. Then surgery becomes an option for those patient who do not show improvement.
The most common surgical options to treat Degenerative Disc Disease include the following:
This surgical procedure involves removing all or portions of the lamina, removing bone spurs, and then enlarging foramina to relieve pressure or compression on the nerve roots or spinal cord. This pressure is often the cause of pain.
Decompression & Posterolateral Fusion
Often times, in addition to a decompression, your surgeon will perform an instrumented posterolateral fusion by inserting a series of screws and rods coupled with the placement of the bone graft. This fusion provides increased spinal stability.
Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)
The surgical approach is from the front of the abdomen. Then, the disc material causing the nerve compression is removed. An interbody cage or bone spacer is placed at the disc site, and is filled with a bone graft. Then, the vertebral bodies above and below are frequently put under compression. And this is done to aid in the subsequent spinal fusion.
Posterior Transforaminal Interbody Fusion
The same procedure as the ALIF but the approach and exposure are performed from the back. Just as in an ALIF, the disc material is removed. Then, an interbody device is inserted. Compression through the use of pedicle screws is frequently achieved to aid in fusion.
Removal of the spinal disc and replacement with an artificial prosthesis.
For more information, please consult one of our spine specialists by calling at 888-409-8006.