An Introduction to Osteoarthritis of the Spine

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The degenerative disease of the joints is called osteoarthritis. The protective cushion at the top of the bones degenerates, causing extreme pain and swelling. Sometimes, it may also refer to bone spurs or osteophytes.

Osteoarthritis of the Spine

The breakdown of the cartilage of joints or discs in lower back or neck is called osteoarthritis of the spine.

Typical Osteoarthritis Patients

The osteoarthritis usually happens due the following reasons.

  • There is a genetic defect which damages cartilage.
  • Trauma or injury to the joint

Men younger than 45 years of age commonly get affected by osteoarthritis. Women above the age of 45 get affected by osteoarthritis. People with excess weight may also become prone to osteoarthritis. Sometimes physical activities involving repetitive movements may lead to this problem.

Common Symptoms of Spine Osteoarthritis

The stiffness or pain in neck or back sometimes symbolizes osteoarthritis. Patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the spine may also have weakness or numbness in the legs, when it gets too severe impacting the spinal nerves. The patient feels better when lying upon their back.

Sometimes, the disease of spine osteoarthritis may lead to experiencing socializing and emotional issues. This health problem can also result in hindering of daily activities and might eventually effect their on-the-job performance.

Diagnosis of Spine Osteoarthritis

There are different methods used by the physician to diagnose the osteoarthritis of the spine. Some of the common methods used by the orthopedic surgeon in Sioux Falls include determining patient’s medical history, physical examination, CT scan, or X-ray. These ways of diagnosing the problem can help determine issues like numbness, pain, swelling, tenderness, and loss of motion.

  • X-rays help the doctor know the extent of damage done to the spinal cord and the type of treatment required.
  • At times, the orthopedic surgeon may also ask the patient to undergo blood tests to screen out any other diseases.
  • MRI helps the orthopedic surgeon know the damage done to the narrowing disc areas of the spine cord.
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