Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)

Degenerative disc disease is a condition where the intervertebral disc, the gel-like material between the vertebrae, has begun to wear out due to aging, repetitive stress, smoking, injury, formation of bone spurs or obesity.

Symptoms

Symptoms vary from person to person. Some patients have no pain while others may experience severe pain. Depending upon the location of the affected disc the condition may cause:

  • Neck or arm pain
  • Back pain
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
  • Pain in the thighs and buttocks

The pain is aggravated by movements such as bending, lifting or twisting.

Diagnosis

Degenerative disc disease is usually diagnosed based on medical history, physical examination and neurological examinations. Diagnostic imaging techniques such as X-rays, CT scan or MRI scans, may be employed to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment

Nonsurgical treatment options such as medications (pain medication, narcotic medication, NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, antidepressants), rest, exercise, a spinal block and physical therapy may be recommended when there is no evidence of nerve root compression or muscle weakness. Surgery is considered when conservative treatment options fail to relieve the symptoms over a period of time. Spinal decompression along with a discectomy and fusion is usually performed to remove the affected disc and fuse the adjoining vertebrae in order to stabilize the spine.

  • Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital

    NHS

    Ashford and St Peter’s
    Hospital
    NHS Foundation Trust
    Guildford Road, Cherstey,
    Surrey, KY16 0PZ.
    Ph: 01932 872 000
  • The BMI Runnymede Hospital

    Private

    The BMI
    Runnymede Hospital
    Guildford Road,
    Ottershaw, CHERTSEY,
    KT16 0RQ.
    Ph: 01932 877800
  • Spire St Anthony’s Hospital

    Private

    Spire St Anthony’s
    Hospital
    801 London Road,
    NORTH CHEAM,
    SM3 9DW.
    Ph: 020 8337 6691
  • Nuffield Health Woking Hospital

    Private

    Nuffield Health
    Woking Hospital
    Shores Road,
    WOKING,
    GU21 4BY.
    Ph: 01483 331257
  • Ramsay Health Ashtead Hospital

    Private

    Ramsay Health
    Ashtead Hospital
    The Warren,
    Ashtead, Surrey.
    KT21 2SB.
    Ph: 01372 221400