Understanding the problem
Spondylosis is a naturally occurring condition for most people caused by the general wear and tear of the spine. As time progresses, the spine endures constant bending, twisting, and movement, accompanied sometimes by weight gain. This constant movement and pressure compresses the components of the spine, causing the vertebrae, discs and joints to gradually wear down. This natural degradation process is called spondylosis.
Spondylosis usually occurs in the lumbar (lower back) portion of the spine. The lumbar spine is largely responsible for supporting and stabilizing the majority of the body’s weight. Thus, the lumbar spine endures the most compression over the years and experiences more deterioration of the vertebrae and joints.
Understanding who suffers
When the components of the spine begin to wear down, other spine conditions may occur. Common conditions associated with spondylosis include:
- Herniated disc
- Spinal stenosis
- Bulging disc
- Bone spurs
- Degenerative disc disease
Spondylosis generally occurs in patients over the age of 50 who have forms of spinal arthritis, or osteoarthritis in the spine, and can be found in the lumbar spine.
Potential Signs and Symptoms
Spondylosis can go undetected unless the facet joints become painfully stiff or the spinal cord or an exiting nerve root is irritated or compressed by a bone spur or displaced disc material.
When caused by nerve compression, spondylosis symptoms can vary based on the severity and location of the neural pressure. For instance, a compressed nerve root in the cervical (neck) region can produce symptoms in the upper back, shoulders, arms, hands and fingers. On the other hand, if the sciatic nerve in the lumbar region is compressed, radiating symptoms may be felt throughout the lower back, buttocks, legs, feet and toes. Independent of location, some of the most common general spondylosis symptoms include:
- Localized pain in the affected area of the neck or back
- Numbness or loss of sensation
- Muscle weakness
- Traveling pain, numbness and tingling
When caused by spinal osteoarthritis, spondylosis symptoms are usually associated with neck and back movements and exhibit as:
- Facet joint warmth and stiffness
- Localized aching in the neck or back
- Reduced range of motion in the spine
These symptoms are often worse in the morning or after waking up, but it’s common for them to improve slightly when getting out of bed and start to move about. Some patients have difficulties standing up or develop a “hunched” posture.
Examinations Usually Required
In most cases, a spondylosis diagnosis is confirmed with one or more diagnostic imaging tests. Here are three of the most common tests used by physicians:
- X-ray. This form of radiography uses X-rays to take internal pictures of the body. In the spine, this can reveal conditions like bone spurs and inflamed facet joints.
- CT scan. This computerized tomography takes X-ray images and combines them with computer processing. This provides a more detailed, cross-sectional look at the spinal components and is helpful in displaying spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the spinal canal.
- MRI. Magnetic resonance imaging provides highly detailed images which can show the degree to which the vertebrae and facet joints have degenerated. It can also show spinal soft tissues — discs, ligaments, nerve structures — that are affected.
Reputable and Prestigious Surgeons
AIMIS' skilled team of neurosurgeons, orthopaedic surgeons and ancillary professionals has one of the leading experiences in the world for minimally invasive spine surgery. Our full team are consulted with each case to find the most suitable experienced doctor for the patient’s exact issue, to ensure the maximum potential outcome of treatment
Getting More Information Before Moving Forward
You may have questions like:
- Can I get more information before I commit to this?
- Can I get a second opinion from you before I commit to this?
- How can I find out the cost before I have any obligation?
What AIMIS Can do:
AIMIS will provide a full review, diagnosis and potential surgical options for your condition, after receiving the relevant examinations and information from you. They will also provide an estimate for your surgical procedure before you decide. AIMIS’s mission is to the provision of “true” healthcare for those who require it. It provides world leading surgeons using state of the art procedures to optimize potential surgical outcomes, whilst taking care of all arrangements so as to allow concentration on recovery.
AIMIS provide competitive prices for state of the art procedures. We also work with a large range of Insurance companies where your policy allows you to have surgery abroad.
Further information on the problem:
The spine consists of 33 vertebrae, 24 of which are individually stacked to create the cervical (upper), thoracic (middle) and lumbar (lower) regions, while nine fused vertebrae make up the sacrum and coccyx (tailbone). Spondylosis, which can be diagnosed in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions, is often classified by its location:
- Cervical spondylosis. Affects the seven cervical vertebrae (C1-C7) that make up the neck region; deterioration is common is this area, mainly because these vertebrae are highly mobile and support the weight of the head
- Thoracic spondylosis. Affects the 12 thoracic vertebrae (T1-T12); deterioration in the middle back is relatively uncommon because the spine in this area is connected to and supported by the ribcage
- Lumbar spondylosis. Affects the five lumbar vertebrae (L1-L5); degeneration is prevalent in this area of the spine because the vertebrae in the lower back support the majority of the body’s weight and facilitate a wide range of motion
- Multilevel spondylosis. Affects the spinal components in more than one region
Further Information on Increased Risk Groups
Certain conditions and lifestyle factors can accelerate spine degeneration for individuals younger than 50. For example, being obese can place added strain on the spine, as can participating in high-impact sports and exercises. Frequently performing strenuous motions such as lifting heavy boxes also forces the spinal joints and discs to work harder. Additionally, individuals who have sustained traumatic injuries are at a higher risk of developing spinal problems.
Why AIMIS for this Surgery
AIMIS strives for excellence in delivering the best surgical outcomes, via the extensive expertise of its prestige surgeons, its technologies, its highly trained staff and superior facilities to provide an individualized and compassionate experience in a comfortable environment. All patients are treated with the individual care they deserve in an effort to provide the best chance of successful treatment.
Other Services Provided by AIMIS
In addition to its Innovative Healthcare, AIMIS provides seamless service along the way. From the start of your journey you'll know the best flights to take, where you'll be staying, what paperwork you will need. You will have a personal assistant assigned; from your pick up at the airport, to your accommodation, continuous assistance at your pre-consultation, through surgery and in your postsurgical care. Our Patients have said that they feel they have become "part of our family" and some even asked to stay a little longer! AIMIS is here to assist you in an all you requirements, allowing you to focus on your health and recovery.