Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment in Seattle, WA
By age 60, men and women may start feeling the effects of degenerative disc disease. When chronic pain and limited mobility due to degenerative disc disease interfere with your life, Edward Jung, MD can help. Dr. Jung provides comprehensive care, including minimally invasive surgery, to relieve the pain of degenerative disc disease at his office in Kirkland, WA.
What is degenerative disc disease?
Degenerative disc disease is a progressive condition that affects the protective discs within your spine. These discs sit between your vertebrae, keeping your back flexible and absorbing the shocks caused by your movement.
As you age, or due to damage or disease, your spinal discs begin breaking down and can no longer support your spine. As discs begin shrinking or when tears form in the discs, your vertebrae rub together. This friction can lead to chronic inflammation and pain in your spine, which can radiate into other parts of your body.
Symptoms of degenerative disc disease, like pain and numbness, may worsen over time and can ultimately interfere with your range of motion and quality of life.
What are the symptoms of degenerative disc disease?
In the earliest stages of degenerative disc disease, you may have persistent backaches that worsen over time. Common symptoms of progressing degenerative disc disease include:
- Radiating pain
- Weakness in back, legs, and arms
Pain may worsen after long periods of walking or sitting. You may also experience difficulties walking due to weakness or numbness in your legs and feet.
How is degenerative disc disease diagnosed?
To determine if your symptoms being caused by degenerative disc disease or another underlying medical condition, Dr. Jung will review your personal and family medical history and physically examine your spine.
In many cases, imaging tests, like X-rays or an MRI, can show Dr. Jung the severity and location of your damaged discs. Dr. Jung will create a treatment plan that focuses on alleviating your pain and improving the range of motion in your spine.
How is degenerative disc disease treated?
When degenerative disc disease starts to interfere with your ability to stay active, Dr. Jung may recommend surgery to remove the damaged disc.
Types of Surgery for Degenerative Disc Disease
There are two types of minimally invasive surgery used to treat degenerative disc disease:
During a discectomy, Dr. Jung will remove damaged disc material that is pressing on spinal nerves.
Spinal fusion surgery involves the removal of the degenerated disc and the joining of two or more vertebrae to stabilize the spine.
The type of surgery you receive will depend on a variety of factors including the location and severity of your disc damage, your lifestyle, and your medical history. Dr. Jung will discuss your options for surgery with you during your diagnostic appointment.
Spinal decompression is a non-surgical option for treating degenerative disc disease that uses computer-aided technology to apply gentle decompression to your spine. The goal is to increase circulation into the spinal discs and joints, thus helping to relieve the symptoms that cause pain and dysfunction.