As we grow older, our bodies undergo a wide range of changes. The excessive wear and tear of the spinal discs can lead to joint inflammation, nerve impingement, and other conditions that cause considerable pain. Dr. Behnam Salari, the leading board-certified orthopedic surgeon in New Jersey, carefully examines the root cause of your symptoms to curate personalized treatment options.

What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

The term “degenerative disc disease” is a bit of a misnomer — it’s not exactly a disease but rather a series of natural, age-related changes. The intervertebral discs are the soft cushions located between the vertebrae. They’re supposed to absorb shock to facilitate optimal movements, mobility, and flexibility. Since the intervertebral discs have limited blood supply, they can’t usually recover or repair themselves after injuries.

Degenerative disc disease refers to a series of gradual changes that make the intervertebral discs lose shape, size, and height. Over time, the intervertebral discs dry out and become stiff, making them incapable of absorbing shock. Furthermore, the loss of height narrows the intervertebral spaces, leading to the possibility of nerve impingement, which leads to inflammation and back pain.

The intervertebral discs can also become damaged, either because of age-related wear and tear or injuries. When that happens, the fluid within the disc leaks out and pinches the surrounding nerve roots, leading to nerve pain and inflammation. Microscopic tears in the intervertebral discs can also lead to nerve irritation, leading to the signs and symptoms of degenerative disc disease.

man with back pain

Potential Causes of Degenerative Disc Disease

  • Aging: As you grow older, the intervertebral discs gradually dry out and become stiff, reducing their ability to absorb shock. The loss of height also reduces the intervertebral spaces, leading to considerable pain and discomfort.
  • Injuries: Repetitive stress or sudden injuries can damage the intervertebral discs. If the disc is ruptured, the fluid may leak out and compress the surrounding nerves. The problem can be worsened if there are bone spurs around the nerve roots.

Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease:

  • Dull to severe backaches
  • Incapacitating back pain
  • Pain may occur along any part of the spine
  • Some patients experience pain relief after lying down
  • Numbness and tingling sensations on the arms or legs
  • General weakness and fatigue on different parts of the body
man with neck and back pain

Treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease

Dr. Behnam Salari provides highly personalized treatments for degenerative disc disease after conducting a thorough diagnosis and analysis. He performs numerous diagnostic tests, such as MRIs, myelogram, and CT scans, to visualize the bone tissues and soft tissues along the spine. He traces the root cause of your condition to curate the appropriate treatment plan.

Dr. Salari always starts your treatment with conservative options, only resorting to surgeries if conservative solutions fail to yield the desired results. Even when it comes to surgery, Dr. Salary specializes in cutting-edge, minimally invasive techniques that usually conclude after one session with minimal downtime.

Conservative Options:

  • Bed rest and restricted activity
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Epidural steroid injections

Surgical Options:

  • Interbody fusion to connect two or more vertebrae together
  • Discectomy to remove portions of a damaged intervertebral disc
  • Artificial disc replacement to remove and replace the damaged disc
  • Laminotomy to expand the intervertebral space and alleviate nerve compression

Contact Dr. Salari for Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment

Dr. Behnam Salari is a highly-skilled, nationally-recognized spine surgeon specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of spine-related conditions, including degenerative disc disease. He conducts a thorough investigation to identify and treat the root cause of your problems, ensuring long-lasting and safe results. He prefers non-surgical solutions, such as physical therapy and medications, and only resorts to surgical techniques when absolutely necessary.

If you have the signs and symptoms of degenerative disc disease, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Salari at our offices in Morristown, Hackettstown, Sparta, or Randolph in New Jersey.

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