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Spondylosis can affect many patients – let the orthopedic experts at Laser Spine Institute’s Tampa surgery center explain how it is diagnosed and treated

Spondylosis is a term used to describe a variety of degenerative conditions that can affect the spine. If you’ve been diagnosed with spondylosis, it’s important to learn as much as you can about this condition so you can find relief from your symptoms.

What is spondylosis?

Spondylosis is not a specific condition. Rather, it’s a term that is used to describe several different degenerative spine conditions related to the soft tissues in the spine, including the discs, cartilage, ligaments and tendons that are important parts of the spinal anatomy. Some of the specific conditions that are also classified as spondylosis include spinal osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease.

How is a spondylosis diagnosis made?

When you visit your doctor for a spondylosis diagnosis, the first step will be a review of your family and personal medical history to find out if there are any genetic factors that may increase your chances of developing this condition. Range of motion and flexibility tests will likely be done as part of a physical exam to see if you are experiencing inflammation or stiffness in your neck or back. Finally, an X-ray, CT scan or MRI will be used to confirm the spondylosis diagnosis.

Which factors can lead to the development of spondylosis?

In almost all cases, spondylosis is the result of the natural aging process and the deterioration that can occur in the spine through years of wear and tear. Risk factors that can increase your likelihood of developing spondylosis include obesity, heavy tobacco use, high-impact sports and activities that require frequent heavy lifting or bending.

Spondylosis symptoms

People with spondylosis often won’t experience symptoms unless the facet joints between the vertebrae become stiff and painful or displaced spinal disc material compresses a nerve root. When this occurs, the location of the symptoms, which can include loss of sensation, muscle weakness and radiating pain, will depend on the area of the spine being affected.

Learn your treatment options

Many patients are able to successfully manage their spondylosis symptoms through a combination of conservative treatments. Common options your physician may recommend include rest, pain medications, physical therapy, hot and cold compression therapy and epidural steroid injections.

Surgery to treat spondylosis

Surgery becomes an option when a patient has tried conservative treatments for several weeks or months and is still experiencing lifestyle-altering symptoms. Patients in Tampa, FL, are able to turn to the orthopedic experts at Laser Spine Institute for surgical treatment of spondylosis and other degenerative spinal conditions. To find out if you are a potential candidate for our minimally invasive outpatient surgery, contact us today for a no-cost MRI review.*