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Bone & Joint Health

Spine conditions and their treatment options

09 June 2023 · 4 mins read

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Learn more about the treatment options for spine conditions depending on the symptoms and severity of the condition.

Some of the spine conditions are as follows:

  • Slipped disc (herniated disc): Excessive wear and tear on spinal discs due to aging can result in disc bulges, where the outer covering weakens, and the disc protrudes.
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis: This is a condition where the vertebral canal, the open space inside the vertebrae, becomes narrowed, resulting in pressure in the spinal cord. This causes pain, weakness, or numbness in your back, legs, arms, and neck.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis: This is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation in the spine and other parts of your body.
  • Scoliosis: This is a condition where there is an abnormal curvature or twisting of the spine (backbone).
  • Degenerative spondylolisthesis: This is a condition in which one of the lower spine vertebrae "slips" forward relative to another difficulty for the spine to be in correct position.

Treatment options for spine conditions

Treatment options for spine conditions will depend on your symptoms as well as the extent and severity of your spine condition. Treatment aims to relieve your symptoms, enable you to carry out your regular activities and prevent further complications.

  1. Non-surgical approaches

    The initial non-surgical options are mainly aimed at pain relief.

    • Medications - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen and ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation. Muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine may also be prescribed to help relieve pain. 
    • Steroids injection - Steroid (corticosteroid) injection may also be recommended to relieve pain and inflammation.
    • Physiotherapy - Under the guidance of a physiotherapist, some exercises can be done to strengthen the muscles in the back and legs to improve flexibility, which can help alleviate pain.
  2. Surgical options

    If symptoms persist despite conservative treatment, your doctor may recommend surgery. Spine surgery is often reserved for patients who have not had any significant improvement in their symptoms with non-surgical options.

    • Discectomy - A surgical procedure performed to treat herniated or slipped discs in the spine. This surgical procedure involves the removal of the fragment of the disc, which exerts pressure on the nerve. This can be done as an open surgery or keyhole surgery.
    • Spinal fusion – A type of spine surgery commonly performed to treat various conditions that cause instability or deformity in the spine. It is done to join two or more vertebrae to stabilize the spine.
    • Decompression Laminectomy / Laminotomy – A surgical procedure that relieves pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots caused by spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal resulting in pressure in the spinal cord). This surgical procedure removes tissue and bone, exerting pressure on the spine. It is also used to treat spinal injuries, herniated discs, and spinal tumours.

Book an appointment at Gleneagles Hospitals

The caring and multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals are available for consultation and to provide the best care. Get in touch with us to book an appointment with an Orthopaedic specialist at Gleneagles Hospital today.

If you encounter a situation that requires medical treatment or major trauma, please seek immediate medical attention at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department at your nearest Gleneagles Hospital. The team of skilled emergency physicians, nurses, and support staff is available 24/7 to provide immediate care and support.

References

  1. OrthoInfo: Spine Basics. Available at https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/spine-basics/ [Accessed 7 March 2022]
  2. OrthoInfo: Spinal Fusion. Available at https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/spinal-fusion/ [Accessed 7 March 2022]
  3. OrthoInfo: Spine Rehabilitation Exercises. Available at https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/recovery/spine-conditioning-program/spine-conditioning-program-pdf/ [Accessed 7 March 2022]
  4. John Hopkins Medicine: Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion. Available at https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/minimally-invasive-spinal-fusion [Accessed 7 March 2022]

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