Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is an age-related condition that occurs when one or more of the discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column deteriorates or breaks down, leading to pain.
Degenerative disc disease is classified into 3 types as follows:
• Cervical Disc Prolapse:
A cervical disc prolapse takes place whilst the gel-like centre of a spinal disc ruptures through a vulnerable area inside the tough outer wall. Neck or arm ache, numbness or tingling can also result when the disc material touches or compresses a spinal nerve.
• Cervical Disc Bulge:
Cervical disc herniation (disc bulging/ruptured disc) is a common disorder of the spine that can lead to neck and/or arm pain. The herniated disc or displaced disc can compress a nerve exiting the spine (branch of the spinal cord), the spinal cord itself or both.
• Cervical Disc Rupture
• Physical therapy
• Facet joint injection
• Facet rhizotomy: The goal of a facet rhizotomy, either a cervical facet rhizotomy or lumbar facet rhizotomy, is to provide pain relief by "shutting off" the pain signals that the joints send to the brain. The pain relief experienced by most patients who have this procedure lasts months or even years. Patients who are candidates for rhizotomy typically have undergone several facet joint injections to verify the source and exact location of their pain. Using a local anaesthetic and x-ray guidance, a needle with an electrode at the tip is placed alongside the small nerves to the facet joint. The electrode is then heated, with a technology called radiofrequency, to deaden these nerves that carry pain signals to the brain.
The procedure takes about 30-60 minutes. Afterwards, patients are monitored for a short time before being released.