What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerative disc disease is also called spondylosis as bone spurs develop on the margins of the degenerating discs. It is a condition that can cause back pain, neck pain, numbness or weakness in the back, as well as in the limbs and extremities. Although it’s associated with aging, the condition is often prompted by an injury of some sort, so younger adults can be affected as well.
The name of the condition can sound more ominous than it actually is. First, the word “degenerative” is only referring to the way that the disc degenerates over time. It does not necessarily mean that you will get worse and worse as time passes, the way you might with other degenerative illnesses. Second, it’s not really a disease. Even if your symptoms do get worse over time, it won’t begin directly affecting other systems or threaten your life.
Still, the condition can be painful and cause neurologic disability. It’s important to be aware of your treatment options and to talk to an experienced spine surgeon.