Degenerative Disc Disease occurs when spinal discs lose their hydration and therefore their flexibility and elasticity. Degeneration usually progresses over a long period of time and can be seen in almost everyone as they age. This process becomes symptomatic or painful when the disc loses it height, causing narrowing around the spinal nerves, resulting in back and/or leg pain.
Herniated Disc will occur when the center of the disc bulges through the outer layer of the disc and puts pressure on the spinal nerves, causing radiating pain down the leg.
Radiculopathy is a common presentation of a “pinched nerve” or “sciatica,” and occurs when a nerve in the neck or low back is compressed or irritated where it branches away from the spinal cord. The pinching may cause pain that radiates into the shoulder, arm, hand, or leg. This pinching may also cause muscle weakness and numbness.
Neck or Back Strain is a fairly broad category of soft tissue injuries of the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that support the spine. About 80% of back and neck pain is muscle-related.
Sacroiliac Joint Pain is pain in the sacroiliac joint (often called the SI joint), which connects the tail bone to the pelvis. The SI joint is located just below the lower back and is located on both the left and right side of the body. When a SI joint becomes inflamed this can lead to low back pain and leg pain. SI joint pain can also be increased after a lumbar fusion.
Scoliosis can occur in children or adults. In children it is a curvature of the spine that occurs most often in the early years of life, before puberty. Scoliosis can be caused by muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy, but the cause of most scoliosis is unknown. Scoliosis can also be degenerative in nature. Adult Scoliosis can occur as a part of the aging process. With advanced degeneration of the discs and facet joints that make up the stabilizing anatomic structures of our spine, collapse and deformity of the spine can occur. Identifying the source of pain and initiation of non-operative treatments such as Physical Therapy, Core Conditioning, and the use of non-narcotic medications along with possible injection therapy can help patients live with this diagnosis. When all of these efforts fail, and there is an anatomic cause of the pain that is refractory to non-operative care, then a surgical referral is indicated to help identify and discuss potential surgical options.
Spondylolisthesis is a forward or backward slip of one vertebra in reference to another. This can cause compression of the spinal nerves and lead to abnormal motion in the spine, resulting in back and/or leg pain.
Spondylosis is a general term for age-related wear and tear affecting the discs in your spine. As the discs dehydrate, signs of arthritis develop, including bone spurs along the edges of the vertebrae. Symptoms related to spondylosis include arm or leg numbness and pain, gait disturbance, bowel or bladder dysfunction, weakness in the arms and legs, and loss of dexterity, depending on whether the nerves or spinal cord are being compressed.
Stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, which typically results from gradual wear and tear of the spine over time. Bulging of the disc along with bone spurs can cause narrowing of the spinal canal which then puts pressure on the spinal nerves. Spinal stenosis can occur in any part of the spine but most commonly in the lumbar spine. Stenosis or narrowing can cause back and leg pain, and make it difficult to walk and stand for long periods of time. Stenosis can also cause weakness in your legs.