DEGENERATIVE SPINE DISEASE

The spine consists of a series of vertebrae and intervertebral discs that provide stability, support and protection for the spinal cord. However, when parts of the spine begin to deteriorate, they can cause problems if they lose functionality or interfere with the spinal nerves.

Many conditions can be classified as degenerative spine diseases, including:

  • Spinal osteoarthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Bone spurs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Foraminal stenosis
  • Pinched nerves
  • Sciatica

What Causes Degenerative Spine Disease?

Since degenerative spine conditions involve the gradual loss of normal structure and function of the spine over time, they are usually caused by aging. However, they can also be the result of:

  • Tumors
  • Infections
  • Arthritis

What Are the Symptoms of Degenerative Spine Disease?

Symptoms of a degenerative spine disease will vary depending on the specific condition, but often include:

  • Sharp or chronic pain with movement or at rest
  • Limited motion
  • Spinal deformity

Additionally, nerve injuries of the spine can lead to:

  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Tingling 
  • Sensory loss
  • Bladder and bowel function problems
  • Sexual dysfunction

How Are Degenerative Spine Diseases Diagnosed?

Because there are numerous different degenerative spine diseases, many types of tests and imaging procedures can be done to reach an accurate diagnosis. These include:

  • X-rays
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Computed tomography (CT) scans
  • Discograms

How Are Degenerative Spine Diseases Treated?

Treatment of a degenerative spine disease depends on the specific condition as well as its severity. Treatments for spine disorders can include minimally invasive spine surgery as well as non-surgical treatments. Tampa General Hospital treats a wide range of spinal conditions, including those that are considered a degenerative spine disease. Our team of physicians and other medical professionals develop targeted treatment plans that are most effective for each individual patient’s specific needs.