Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment Options


Q: I have 2 disc pinching my nerve in my lower back. Should I have surgery or injections? How serious is the surgery and what are the consequense?What kinda dr should do the surgery if that is an option?


A:   The treatment options vary according to severity of disc disease. Most orthopedic spine specialist will start with steroid/local anesthetic injections into the spine to relieve the symptoms associated with disc disease. If this fails then laser surgery may be used to “burn” the pinched nerves. Burning the nerves often leads to significant pain relief. Laser surgery may also not provide sufficient relief, then spinal fusion surgery is indicated.
Spinal fusion is major surgery which can be done minimally invasively and via open surgery. Minimal invasive surgery involves minimal damage to surrounding tissue, less pain than traditional open surgery and is often done on an outpatient basis leading to shorter recovery time. Open surgery achieves the same outcome but requires hospitalization and longer recovery time.

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