The back is a strong area of the body, capable of bending, twisting, turning and handling all kinds of loads and stress. However, over time or due to injury or accidents, back injuries may derail just about anyone.
Once a spinal injury occurs, there are a few different potential treatment courses, including traditional treatment without surgery or spinal surgery. Another option is the emergence of laser spine surgery, which provides the benefit of spinal surgery with fewer of the complications and elements of traditional spine surgery. Laser spine surgery NYC is an excellent consideration for anyone with a spinal condition.
There are countless different types of spinal conditions that might require surgery. Here are a few common issues:
- Bone Spurs
The technical term for bone spurs is osteophytes. Bone spurs are enlargements of normal bone caused by the bone rubbing or experiencing pressure or stress. This applied pressure causes the tendons and ligaments to pull the bone out of position, pressing on local nerves and tissues, creating pain. Any bone might develop a spur, including the spine.
When bone spurs form in the spinal column, nearby nerves are often affected, resulting in pain, weakness, numbness and difficultly moving. The most common cause of spinal bone spurs is aging, as the the spinal vertebrae shrink over time.
- Bulging Disc
Another common spinal condition is a bulging disc. Also common due to aging, bulging discs often occur as the spinal vertebrae weaken, allowing a disc to slip out of position. Many times, the patient is unaware of the bulging disc until the disc starts to press on local nerves.
A bulging disc in the lumbar (lower) back often starts to cause pain radiating down the back and into the legs and feet. When located in the cervical (upper) spine, the pain moves through the neck, shoulders, arms and fingers.
Lower back bulging discs are most common, usually around the lumbar segments 4 and 5. In addition, many lumbar bulging discs press on the sciatic nerve, creating the additional problem of sciatic pain.
Many bulging discs resolve with pain and anti-inflammatory medication as well as rest and regular application of heat. However, if the disc does not improve over time, surgery might be necessary.
- Torn (Ruptured) Disc
Yet another common spinal issue is a ruptured or torn spinal disc. Each intervertebral disc that act as a cushion between each vertebrae has a soft inner core and a hard outer surface. For various reasons, usually aging or injury, the outer surface cracks or tears and allows the softer inner layer to leak through.
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