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What causes degenerative disc disease and how can it be treated?

Feb 2014
User rating for this question
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 5931 Questions
Good Morning, I have back and neck MRI dated May 2012 states: I have a strainghtening of the normal lumbar lordosis, L4-5 -there is minimal disc bulging. no canal stenosis or neuralformina, L-5-S1 -minimal disc bulging with no evidence o stenosis..Aug 2009 xray showed that I have a dislocated tailbone and an old fracture of S2-3. Cervical MRI May 2012 showed..mild reversal of the normal cervical curvature..C2-3 minimal disk bulging no stenosis.C3-C4 there is a small focal central disk protrusion with no stenosis C4-C5 there is slightly larger left paracentral dis protrusion minimally narrowing the left anteiror spinal canal..Impression Mild degenerative disc disease from C2-3 through C4-C5..I had an cervical epidural injection that did not help I started to have symptoms that come and go for instance I feeling like I have something cold on my legs, itching, headaches, limping,feeling hot, leg cramps,jaw tightness, tingling and numbing in legs, back, neck, right arm... these syptoms come and go. I had another MRI of my neck in Sept 2013 which states mild reversal of the normal cervical spine curvature. C2-C3 minimal posterior disc osteophyte complex formation w/o disc herniation no stenosis, C3-C4 mild posterior osteophyte complex formation w/o disc herniation no stenosis, C4-C5 mild posterior disc osteophyt complex formation w/o dis herniation no significant hypertrophy very small perineural cysts are seen in the neural foramen billaterally unchanged from prior MRI, C5-C6 mild posterior osteophyte complex formation w/o disc herniation small perineural cyst measuring 8mm in size on the right and left are again seen in the neural foramen unchanged from prior MRI, C6-C7 no disc buldge or herniation very small 4mm right perineural cyst is noted in the neural foramen exetremly tiny perineural cyst in left neural foramen no stenosis, C7-T1 no disc buldge or herniation no significant hypertrophy 9mm right perineural cyst is noted. Impression..stable mild muti level degerative changes with perineural cysts in mid cervical spine as described above and unchaned for prior study. I was not aware of the cycst in the May 2012 MRI.. I have been sent to pain management to control the pain and given pain med to conrol the pain but no one has told me in laymans term what is going on with me. I've been told that my back is fine but it doesnt feel fine and no one see a problem. Please help. Thank You
Posted Wed, 25 Dec 2013 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 1 hour later
Brief Answer: I am gone through your query in detail. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for your query. I am gone through your query in detail. It seems you are suffering from degenerative disc disease & it occurs due to repetitive overload or stress to the disc & it increases the risk of disc herniation & spinal canal stenosis. It is good to know that in your MRI report ,there is no significant disc herniation or stenosis. For this condition you have to do stretching & strengthening exercises in which you have to stretch tight muscle & strengthen weakened ones which will alleviate stress on facet joint and disc. Since there is only numbness of the affected area it suggests that the affection of nerve root is only minimal. Such minor symptoms are usually taken care of by Methylcobalamin supplements which you can take after consulting your orthopedician. Do not lift heavy objects, especially after bending down. Eat a healthy wholesome meal which should satisfy your minerals and proteins requirement. Do not worry about small perineural cyst in cervical spine. These are fluid-filled sacs that form on nerves at the base of the spine. A person with such cysts would likely never know it. They almost never cause symptoms. I do hope that you have found something helpful and I will be glad to answer any further query. Take care
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes degenerative disc disease and how can it be treated? 1 hour later
Thank you, Dr. for answering my question. What opinion do you have on the osteophytes and the symptoms from the cervical eipdural steroid shot.
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 19 hours later
Brief Answer: Osteophytes are due to degenerative ds of spine. Detailed Answer: Hi, Osteophytes are due to age related degenerative disease of spine . Cervical eipdural steroid shot are given to relieve the inflammation around nerve fibres and to reduce the symptoms. Symptoms you have is not due to epidural steroid shot, it is due to degenerative disease of spine.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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