Degenerative disc disease

Degenerative Disc DiseaseDegenerative disc disease treatment and surgery are the specialties of leading New York City spine surgeon, Dr. Brisson.

Degenerative disc disease is a spine condition that occurs when parts of the spine — including muscles, vertebrae, ligaments, and intervertebral discs — become deteriorated due to years of tension and stress placed on the spine. As a person ages, natural changes occur in the spine, particularly in the discs. These soft, gel-filled discs become thinner and less resilient, leading to their decreased functionality as shock absorbers and cushions for the spine.

Specific injuries that occur with degenerative disc disease include a tear in the disc, also known as a disc herniation, and bulging discs. These conditions result in compression of surrounding nerves of the spinal cord, causing pain. Discs may also lose their cartilage and water content, leading to insufficient cushioning of the vertebrae on either side, causing the bones to rub together. Because the spinal column is filled with nerves, these changes in disc integrity and placement easily result in painful symptoms, which include localized and radiating pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and decreased motor function.

Dr. Brisson understands that degenerative disc treatment should be catered to each patient’s individual needs. Conservative methods like physical therapy, along with stretching and exercise, can temporarily relieve compression of affected spinal regions and increase nerve space. The result is a decrease in back pain, because the nerves are no longer being pinched.

In more severe cases, conservative treatments may not prove to be sufficient or effective, and Dr. Brisson may recommend surgery for degenerative disc disease. When the affected disc has been identified, depending on coexisting symptoms and the time frame of the condition, discectomy or microdiscectomy may be suggested. This treatment requires the removal of the herniated disc or portions of the disc that press on the neural tissue, thereby removing the source of the pain. In addition, artificial disc replacement is one of the more advance alternative treatments that might be considered.

Dr. Brisson specializes in lumbar fusions. This procedure allows for the correction of existing spinal instability, correction of anatomical defects, and the restoration of functionality.

Obtaining an appropriate diagnosis before considering surgery is of paramount importance for each patient. As one of the leading spine specialists in New York City, Dr. Brisson thoroughly reviews and examines each patient’s condition to provide the most accurate diagnosis and effective treatment option. At New York Spine Center, we will consider both conservative and surgical treatment options in order to determine the most effective way to relieve your pain.