Ohio State’s Comprehensive Spine Center offers multiple options for the treatment of degenerative disc disease. For the vast majority of patients, surgery is not necessary.
As the spine ages, the wear and tear of daily activities can cause degeneration of the discs that act as cushions between the bones of the spine (vertebrae). Degenerative disc disease can begin as early as your 30s or 40s, but most of the time it occurs slowly and does not cause symptoms. It most often affects the cervical spine in the neck and lumbar spine in the lower back, because these are the areas of the spine that experience the most movement.
Some people are more prone to accelerated wear and tear of their discs and can develop symptoms such as:
- Pain from inflammation of one or more discs
- Numbness due to an inflamed disc compressing the spinal cord or a nerve
- Weakness down the arm or leg, also due to compression of the spinal cord or nerves
Physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and lifestyle changes, such as weight loss and exercise, can slow the progression of degenerative disc disease and alleviate symptoms. The vast majority of people with this condition do not require surgery.
Why choose Ohio State for treatment of degenerative disc disease?
Multidisciplinary Team: When you come to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Comprehensive Spine Center, we determine the source of your pain, diagnose the severity of your condition and choose which least-invasive treatment approach will restore you to the highest level of function possible.
Among the experts at our Comprehensive Spine Center are:
- Physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians
- Physical therapists
- Spine surgeons with neurosurgical and orthopedic training
- Pain specialists/Anesthesiologists
Comprehensive Care: Our Comprehensive Spine Center offers multiple options for the treatment of degenerative disc disease. For the vast majority of patients, surgery is not necessary. But if your quality of life is compromised, our spine surgeons can address the most challenging surgical cases, assisting people who have not found help elsewhere.
Physical Therapy Expertise: Our physical therapists specialize in spine conditions, working with you one on one to alleviate pain and to improve strength and coordination.
Research: You will benefit from our involvement in national and international trials that provide you with the most current treatment methods for degenerative disc disease.
Spine Center Registry: Through Ohio State’s Comprehensive Spine Center registry, we track our patients’ outcomes, including physical function and quality of life, and compare these to national and international results to help us select the most effective treatment methods.
Dr. Francis Farhadi, a neurosurgeon, explains the approach to care for patients experiencing degenerative disc disease at our Comprehensive Spine Center.