Friday, December 9, 2022

Can Arthritis Be Removed From The Spine

Why Does Spinal Arthritis Develop

Low Back Pain: Lumbar Laminectomy Surgery

Spinal arthritis is caused by inflammation in the facet joints of your spine. Oftentimes this inflammation is due to overstress and wear and tear on the joints, but other underlying causes include autoimmune disorders and infection. Arthritis can develop in any area of the spine, but based on the way stress is often channeled through the spine, it most commonly affects the cervical and lumbar portions.

Factors that can increase your risk for spinal arthritis include:

  • Underlying autoimmune conditions
  • Prolonged manual labor over the years

Symptoms of arthritis vary based on the type of arthritis youre dealing with, be it osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, psoriatic arthritis or another inflammatory arthritis condition, but common symptoms tend to include pain, stiffness, swelling, tenderness, shooting discomfort, muscle fatigue and inhibited spinal flexibility.

Do You Need A Laminectomy

Compression of the spinal cord and nerves can cause pain, numbness, and discomfort, particularly in the lower back. Depending on the severity of the problem, decompression surgery may be best. Also called a laminectomy, the surgery aims to remove a part of the vertebrae called the lamina. Surgery frees up some breathing room and relieves the pain. Either through an open procedure or minimally invasive means, the surgeon removes the lamina. In some cases, the surgeon removes part of the disc, and spinal fusion may be necessary. Laminectomy is not for everyone. Here are some reasons a doctor may choose to perform surgery.

Will I Need Surgery For Arthritis

Healthcare providers usually only recommend surgery for certain severe cases of arthritis. These are cases that havent improved with conservative treatments. Surgical options include:

  • Fusion: Two or more bones are permanently fused together. Fusion immobilizes a joint and reduces pain caused by movement.
  • Joint replacement: A damaged, arthritic joint gets replaced with an artificial joint. Joint replacement preserves joint function and movement. Examples include ankle replacement, hip replacement, knee replacement and shoulder replacement.

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Learn About The Surgery

The decision to have surgery is a major one. It is not a decision to be made quickly or without good reasons. Before you decide to have surgery, be sure to learn what operation is being suggested, what are the alternatives, what are the risks and what is involved in the recovery process. Don’t be shy about asking lots of questions of your surgeon, including information on his or her success record with the particular procedure. As you consider whether or not to have surgery, keep in mind that every person’s needs are different. Your doctor may inform you that surgery won’t give you the results you want. If your doctor thinks that surgery can help you, there are still many things you need to know.

Risk Factors For Spinal Spondylosis

Arthritis of the spine, CT scan
  • Age as people age, they are at a higher risk for developing spinal osteoarthritis.
  • Gender women are more likely to develop spinal osteoarthritis.
  • Occupation some occupations that require heaving lifting and repetitive movement on the spine can increase your risk of developing spinal osteoarthritis.
  • Genetics some people can inherit spinal osteoarthritis from their family.
  • Weight the extra weight carried by obese patients can add extra pressure on the spine.

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Exceptional Care For Patients With Arthritis In Spine

The joints of the spine make it possible for us to stand, walk, bend, twist and stretch. A flexible substance called cartilage acts as a cushion between each of the small bones that make up the spine and facilitates smooth, pain-free movement. If this cartilage breaks down due to age, overuse or disease, it can lead to spinal arthritis with symptoms of inflammation, stiffness, severe pain and restricted mobility.

Your health is important. Dont delay care.

If the pain and symptoms of spine arthritis are limiting your ability to enjoy life, we can help. Call today to schedule an appointment with a UH spine specialist.

Spinal Arthritis: What You Need To Know

  • Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis to affect the spine.

  • Arthritis can occur anywhere along the spine, but is more frequent in the lower back and neck.

  • Pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms of spinal arthritis.

  • Causes of spinal arthritis are still largely unknown except for osteoarthritis, which is typically a result of wear and tear.

  • Spinal arthritis treatment may include pain medications, steroid injections, physical therapy and surgery in severe cases.

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Treatments To Pursue Before Surgery

Upon diagnosing a patient with arthritis of the spine, doctors will first recommend a course of conservative treatment options to relieve symptoms, improve range of motion and promote long-term spinal health. Patients are very often able to manage their symptoms and engage in normal activities by working to find the right combination of treatments for their specific situation. Commonly recommended therapies include rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, hot and cold compression therapy and massage.

Arthritis of the spine surgery can become a serious consideration in the following situations:

  • A specific operable condition that is causing nerve compression and/or spinal instability has been identified
  • Symptoms are debilitating and causing a diminished quality of life
  • Conservative treatments have been thoroughly attempted and exhausted

Take Notes About Pain Frequency Intensity And Triggers

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Try keeping a diary of how you feel each day, rating your pain at different times and after different activities. Record what makes your pain feel better, and what makes it worse. Also share with your doctor what you can and cannot do because of your pain. For instance, make note of whether you can drive a car comfortably but have difficulty holding a fork. Your doctor will also want to know about any other symptoms you are experiencing, such as fever or a skin rash, which could point to another kind of arthritis.

The long-term impact to your health from arthritis varies widely from person to person and by the type and severity of arthritis. Still, a diagnosis and treatment is important for more than just your physical health its necessary for your emotional health, too. Anxiety and depression can occur with almost any chronic illness arthritis is no exception, Ruthberg says. So, if youre struggling with pain, see your doctor to figure out the source and the solution.

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When To Seek Medical Advice

See a GP if you have joint pain or stiffness, or if you have other symptoms in an area of your body, such as numbness or nerve pain. They’ll investigate the underlying cause.

A GP will ask you about your symptoms and may examine the affected area. They may test your joint movements and muscle strength. They’ll also look at your medical history.

You may be referred for an X-ray, which will highlight any arthritis in the joint and osteophytes. An MRI scan is better for examining torn ligaments or tendons.

How Are Bone Spurs Removed

After a thorough diagnostic process that may involve a physical examination, nerve sensation tests and imaging scans, spinal bone spurs are typically treated conservatively at first, Dr. Liu says. Non-surgical treatment often includes measures such as taking NSAIDs and other pain medications, physical therapy, rest, activity modifications, and sometimes epidural steroid injections.

If after 6 to 8 weeks of conservative treatment fail to relieve spinal bone spur pain and it’s severely limiting your activities, bone spur removal surgery may be warranted, Dr. Liu says. The go-to surgical procedure for the problem is known as an “endoscopic foraminotomy”, a minimally invasive, same-day procedure that doesn’t require general anesthesia. “The surgeon makes a small incision in the back to insert an endoscopic tube, through which the surgeon can access the bone spur and clean it away using surgical tools,” he explains. “Endoscopic foraminotomy is a highly effective surgery for bone spur removal and comes with a high success rate.”

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Advanced Diagnosis And Treatments For Spinal Arthritis

In addition to a physical exam and medical history, your spine specialist can often confirm a diagnosis of spine arthritis through a simple X-ray exam. To obtain more detailed information, the following tests may also be ordered:

  • Blood tests to look for genetic markers and/or rheumatoid arthritis antibodies
  • Additional imaging exams to pinpoint the exact location and extent of the damage or to rule out other possible causes

If a diagnosis of spine arthritis is confirmed, your UH spine specialist will develop a personalized treatment plan based on your age, general overall health and the severity of your symptoms. Although there is no cure, treatments can improve joint function, keep joint pain and inflammation to a minimum and prevent further damage. Your treatment plan may include:

Reasons For The Procedure

Arthritis of the spine, MRI scan

Knee replacement surgery is a treatment for pain and disability in theknee. The most common condition that results in the need for kneereplacement surgery is osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage.Damage to the cartilage and bones limits movement and may cause pain.People with severe degenerative joint disease may be unable to donormal activities that involve bending at the knee, such as walking orclimbing stairs, because they are painful. The knee may swell orâgive-wayâ because the joint is not stable.

Other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and arthritis thatresults from a knee injury, may also lead to degeneration of the kneejoint. In addition, fractures, torn cartilage, and/or torn ligaments maylead to irreversible damage to the knee joint.

If medical treatments are not satisfactory, knee replacement surgery may bean effective treatment. Some medical treatments for degenerative jointdisease may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications

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How To Prevent Osteoarthritis Of The Spine

Research has shown evidence that genetics play an important role as the trigger for the onset of this disease. That being said, there are still steps one can take in order to prevent further deterioration and lower your risk of developing spinal arthritis.

Here are some steps you can take this year:

How Is Spinal Arthritis Diagnosed

Your doctor may use some or all of the following diagnostic methods to confirm spinal arthritis:

  • Medical history and physical exam

  • Blood tests for genetic markers and/or RA antibodies

  • X-rays of the spine to locate the arthritic joint

  • MRI, CT scan, myelography, bone scan and/or ultrasound to zero in on the damage, detect nerve and spinal cord involvement or rule out other causes

  • Joint aspiration: testing of the synovial fluid inside a joint

To pinpoint the painful joint, your doctor may numb it with an injection and check whether the pain goes away.

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Who Should Consider Surgery

Surgery should be considered for individuals who have failed conservative treatment with medications and injections, or those with symptoms that are so severe that they are starting to lose significant function and are at risk for permanent nerve damage.

All risks and benefits of spine surgery should be considered before making a decision. The spine surgeon will discuss all available options and treatments.

Joint Reconstruction For Arthritis In Clinton Township Mi

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Joint reconstruction is an option for some with arthritis. It also facilitates other procedures like cartilage regeneration. Through direct mechanical repair, joint reconstruction is useful for cases where conservative treatments failed to work. Ultimately, reshaping joint components can offer greater range of motion and less discomfort for many patients.

Learn more about joint reconstruction and preservation at Movement Orthopedics. Our medical team utilizes cutting-edge orthopedic and sports medicine treatments in our facility in Clinton Township. We handle a wide range of orthopedic conditions, with treatment plans customized for your specific needs. For inquiries, contact us at 436-3785 or use our online appointment request form.

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Possible Benefits Of Surgery

Arthritis is usually a chronic condition and sometimes can lead to disability. However, there are many ways you and your doctor can lessen these problems. One of the ways may be surgery. Joint surgery can offer several benefits: Relief of pain is the most important benefit of joint surgery. Many people with arthritis have constant pain. Some of this pain can be relieved by rest, heat and cold treatments, exercise, splints, and medication. When these therapies don’t lessen the pain, surgery may be considered. Improved movement and use of a joint are also important benefits of joint surgery. Continuous inflammation and the wearing away of bone and cartilage can cause joints, tendons, and ligaments to become damaged or pulled out of place. Losing the use of a joint, such as a hip, knee, hand, elbow or shoulder, can seriously hamper a person’s activities. When this happens, surgery to replace or stabilize the joint may be suggested. An improvement in the appearance of deformed joints, especially in the hand, can be expected with some types of surgery.

Who Gets Osteoarthritis Of The Spine

In general, osteoarthritis happens as people get older. Younger people may get it from one of several different causes:

  • injury or trauma to a joint
  • a genetic defect involving cartilage

For people younger than age 45, osteoarthritis is more common among men. After age 45, osteoarthritis is more common among women. Osteoarthritis occurs more often among people who are overweight. It also occurs more frequently in those who have jobs or do sports that put repetitive stress on certain joints.

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Recovery From Spine Surgery For Ra

Living with rheumatoid arthritis involves learning to adapt and making lifestyle changes that include a , exercise, and rest. Here are some ways to deal with RA:

  • A program can help restore muscle strength, flexibility, improve mobility, coordination, and maintain body functions through exercise. Massage, hydrotherapy, and other modalities can relieve pain. Gait training and use of assisted devices can be taught to patients with difficulty walking.

  • Occupational therapy teaches the patient how to cope with everyday life. OT encourages independence by helping the patient with daily tasks such as dressing, bathing, food preparation, going to the toilet, and other activities of daily living .

  • A personal medical diary can help keep track of doctor appointments, medications taken on a daily basis including supplements , drugs that alleviated symptoms, side effects, flare-ups, and remissions.

It is important to keep follow-up appointments with your doctor. Monitoring rheumatoid arthritis may include periodic blood tests, assessment of functional ability, pain status, and to evaluate possible disease progression.

Sometimes Knee Surgery Is Your Best Option

Arthritis of the spine, CT scan

If none of these non-surgical treatments work, your pain is still significant and you cannot function the way youd like, it may be time to consider knee replacement surgery, one of the most successful surgeries today. The procedure involves removing the damaged cartilage and underlying bone and replacing it with smooth metal and plastic. Pain relief is almost immediate and dramatic.

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Stop Eating An Unhealthy Diet

What’s your diet got to do with arthritis? Eating well and maintaining your ideal weight is especially important if you’ve got arthritis. Excess pounds can put lots of stress on weight-bearing joints, which is likely to make arthritis pain worse. Even moderate weight gain can stress joints that are already burdened by arthritis.

Stop Ignoring Your Physical Limitations

Just as there are people with arthritis who aren’t active at all, there are those who push beyond their limits. The trick is to pace your activities. Overdoing it is just as harmful as underdoing it.

Pushing your limits can increase pain and put you at higher risk of joint damage. Respect pain and choose activities with your physical limitations in mind.

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Alternative Treatments For Arthritis Of The Spine

There are also several alternative treatments that may be considered in addition to more conservative approaches. We do recommend working closely with your physician when trying an alternative method of treatment. This way, you can ensure that the treatment youre receiving is from a licensed practitioner.

Should I See A Doctor

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Its common to have aches and pains in your muscles and joints from time to time. This may especially be true if you take part in unusual or strenuous physical activities.

So, how can you tell the difference between the early signs of arthritis and normal pain and stiffness? And, how do you know when you should see a doctor about your symptoms?

If you have swelling or stiffness that you cant explain and that doesnât go away in a few days, or if it becomes painful to touch your joints, you should see a doctor. The earlier you get a diagnosis and start the right type of treatment, the better the outcome will be.

Here are some other things to think about that might help you decide whether you need to see a doctor:

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Types Of Spinal Arthritis

Arthritis can develop in any joint of the body, including the spinal vertebrae. The most common types of arthritis are:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: An autoimmune disorder where the body attacks and destroys joint cartilage.
  • Osteoarthritis: A wear-and-tear disorder in which the cartilage weakens and breaks down over time. Also called degenerative joint disease, it is the most common type of arthritis.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis: Spondyloarthritis is a group of inflammatory diseases that affect the joints and the areas where ligaments and tendons attach to the bones. When it occurs in the spine, it is called ankylosing spondylitis . In severe cases, it can lead to several vertebra fusing together.

Several factors can increase your risk of developing arthritis of the spine. These include excess weight, menopause, diabetes, genetics, previous injuries and repetitive movements from certain occupations or activities that put excess stress on the spine.

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