Rather than being the product of a traumatic injury event, the phenomenon of thinning discs is frequently attributable to nothing more complicated than the natural process of aging. With the passage of time, invertebral discs start losing hydration within their gel-filled centers, and the sturdy outer shell of the discs often weaken and turn brittle.
Taken together, these circumstances compromise the key function of discs, which is to provide cushioning in between the vertebrae. As pressure builds in the invertebral spaces, herniation, and bulging of the discs can become problematic, as can overall spinal instability.
Individuals with thinning disc related spinal injuries routinely suffer from pain, numbness, tingling and weakness, all of which can cause dramatic mobility losses and reductions in quality of life. Therefore, it is not surprising that many patients are seeking the most effective treatments available, including those involving minimally invasive surgery.
Key Symptoms of Thinning Disc
It is important to note that not everyone experiencing degeneration or thinning of their discs will exhibit serious symptoms. In fact, patients are only likely to experience difficulty if and when a thinning disc bulges and shifts out of proper alignment, ultimately impinging on an adjacent nerve root. Others may have symptoms if disc fragments break off and inflame nearby nerves. Complaints characteristic of thinning disc and related ailments include:
- Localized, ongoing pain in the back or neck
- Atrophy or weakness in muscles
- Sciatica pain
- Tingling and/or numbness in legs
- Radiating nerve pain
For some, these concerns never escalate to a level where aggressive treatment is sought, but for others, the discomfort and immobility are simply too much to bear. Fortunately, effective treatment options do exist which can help patients resume normal function.
As is generally the case for those suffering from back and neck pain, initial treatment regimens for thinning disc tend to be noninvasive and limited in nature. Restrictions on physical activity, use of over-the-counter pain medication, hot and cold therapy, exercise programs and injections are sufficient to provide relief for certain types of patients. However, when conservative treatments fail, spinal surgery may be recommended as a way to alleviate chronic pain and disability.
Minimally Invasive Surgery for Thinning Disc
When thinning disc conditions are responsible for serious discomfort and inconvenience, minimally invasive options for discectomy and spinal stabilization are often indicated. Small incisions can be used to remove problem discs and facilitate placement of artificial ones. In the end, correct vertebral spacing can be restored and nerve compression can be eased.
Such a process represents a tremendous improvement over the open back spinal fusion surgery of the past, which was known for lengthy recovery periods, sizable scars and greater risk of infection and blood loss.
Innovative Solutions and Lasting Relief
Anyone who has battled chronic back pain understands the feelings of despair and hopelessness that can arise. However, thanks to minimally invasive surgical techniques designed to treat thinning disc and other common conditions, patients everywhere are reclaiming active, vigorous lifestyles. To discover the benefits of these and other procedures, contact us today.