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Degenerative Disc Disease

Are you struggling with chronic pain in your back or neck? You may be suffering from degenerative disc disease (DDD). DDD is a common medical condition that affects the discs throughout your spine. 

Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida can diagnose and treat your degenerative disc disease. We provide numerous treatments for a wide variety of musculoskeletal issues, including spinal degeneration. Find out more about DDD and our various treatments below.

What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative disc disease is a common musculoskeletal disease, with more than 200,000 cases diagnosed each year in the United States alone. It occurs when one or more of the intervertebral discs within the spine begins to deteriorate, causing the vertebrae to rub together or compress nearby nerves.

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We don’t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ approach; each patient gets a unique treatment plan designed for their needs. 

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Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease

The symptoms of degenerative disc disease can extend far beyond back pain or aching. Compression of the nerves that run through your spinal column can lead to a wide variety of issues throughout the rest of your body. 

The following are some of the most common symptoms that people experience when diagnosed with degenerative disc disease:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in the legs or arms
  • Weakness in the legs or arms
  • Discomfort or pain when sitting down
  • Inability to twist, bend, or turn
  • Pain with movement
  • Muscle tension
  • Muscle spasms
  • Difficulty standing for long periods of time
  • Aching and stiffness in the neck
  • Pain or discomfort in the buttocks
  • Tingling throughout the legs, arms, hands, and feet

The symptoms of degenerative disc disease can overlap with many other medical conditions making it essential to receive a proper diagnosis. The team at Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida can diagnose your DDD using a variety of diagnostic tools, including MRI and X-ray images.

Causes of DDD

Degenerative disc disease is found most often in older patients, due to years of wear and tear on the spinal column. DDD can also be the result of trauma or damage to the spinal column caused by repetitive motions, such as playing certain sports. Herniated discs can also lead to degenerative disc disease.

There are certain risk factors that increase your likelihood of developing DDD. These include obesity, smoking, prolonged periods of bad posture, and a family history of musculoskeletal disorders. 

If you have risk factors that can increase your chances of having degenerative disc disease, the providers at Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida can evaluate your spine and determine whether you have developed DDD.

The Risks of Degenerative Disc Disease

Early detection and treatment of degenerative disc disease is vital for managing the progression of this condition. In some cases it may lead to nerve damage and deformity of the natural spinal curvature. Over time, these changes can lead to chronic pain and difficulty functioning.

How DDD Can Be Treated

Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida provide a variety of treatment options for treating DDD and improving a patient’s quality of life. These include therapeutic options, minimally invasive treatments, and surgical procedures. 

Physical Therapy

When treating patients with mild degenerative disc disease in its earliest stages, physical therapy can make a dramatic difference in the symptoms and progression of the condition. Physical therapy can include exercises to improve posture and alleviate compression of the nerves in the spinal column. 

The team at Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida will work with you to design a therapy plan that can help you get back on your feet.

Spinal Fusion

For some patients with deformities or instability related to DDD a spinal fusion is necessary. A spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that uses titanium rods and screws to fix the vertebrae into their proper placement and prevent any further movement or friction. 

At Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida, spinal fusions are a great choice for patients whose moderate to severe DDD cannot be resolved with physical therapy.

Disc Replacement

In many cases of degenerative disc disease, a disc replacement can alleviate the symptoms and resolve the problem. We perform disc replacement procedures to place an artificial disc in the spinal column, relieving any pressure and friction caused by the vertebrae rubbing together.

Visit the Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida for Degenerative Disc Disease

If you think you may be struggling with degenerative disc disease, visit the Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida. We are dedicated to giving you the comprehensive musculoskeletal care you need to help you get back to feeling like your best self. Contact us by calling (239) 334-7000 or online by filling out this short contact form.

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2531 Cleveland Avenue Suite 1 Fort Myers, FL 33901
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