Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage (smooth tissues between bones) in weight bearing joints deteriorates, causing bones to rub against each other. Spinal osteoarthritis makes it difficult for a human body to bend and twist due to inflamed cartilage.

This condition is very common and is the most common type of arthritis. Around 27 million Americans, suffer from severe pain, stiffness, and swelling of joints because of osteoarthritis.

Symptoms

Around 65% of the people suffering from osteoarthritis are women. This condition is more common for women because of the hormone and genetic differences, and also for people over the age of 45. This problem may also occur because of hereditary conditions, obesity, diseases or injuries.

There are a number of osteoarthritic indications, and it is highly recommended to see a doctor if you are suffering from the following symptoms:

  • Spine deformation
  • Joint discomfort due to weather changes
  • Joint stiffness
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Weak hips, knees or shoulders
Diagnosis

There are a few ways to diagnose osteoarthritis. Many doctors conduct physical examinations and screening tests to indicate whether someone has this condition or not. The test may include:

  • X-rays
  • CT scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to show detailed images of the body
  • Electromyography (EMG) to test the electrical activities happening in the muscles
  • Joint fluid tests
  • Blood tests
Treatment

Once diagnosed with this condition, it is recommended not to engage in highly demanding physical activities in order not to cause more damage to the body. There are still no known cure for osteoarthritis today, but luckily, treatments and medications are constantly improving to reduce pain and to replace damaged joints. Another key for osteoarthritic treatment is exercising and having a healthy diet. If the osteoarthritis starts causing the spine to become unstable or if it starts to affect spinal nerves, it is recommended to conduct a minimally invasive spine surgery. Surgical treatments for osteoarthritis can be done in these ways:

  • Spinal Fusion – bone grafts are placed in between affected spinal vertebrae joining them together to prevent them from rubbing against each other.
  • Laminectomy – the disposal of the posterior arch of a vertebra. This has to be done in order to release the pressure on the affected nerve roots or on the spinal cord that sits in the spinal canal.

Burak Ozgur, MD can address osteoarthritis with holistic and minimally invasive procedures. Request an appointment for consultation by calling (949) 383-4190 or toll free 888-64-SPINE or Contact Us ➲.