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Lumbar Spondylosis

Lumbar spondylosis is often a result of osteoarthritis or bone spurs that form because of aging. Spondylosis, which is the fusing or immobilization of one or more vertebral joints, can result in deformation of the bone structure that houses the spinal nerves. The spinal column is made up of bone, ligament, and cartilage, with a hole for spinal nerves. Spondylosis may affect the facet joints and intervertebral discs on any area of the spine.

When spondylosis occurs, lumbar radiculopathy--with pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness--may result. Often, the first signs of lumbar spondylosis are morning stiffness and pain. It's quite common for more than one vertebra to be affected by spondylosis. Since the lumbar spine carries the bulk of the body weight, degeneration of the vertebrae support may be most noticeable with repetitive movements such as bending or lifting.

Identifying Lumbar Spondylosis
Diagnosis of lumbar spondylosis consists of a physical examination, neurological examination (to assess sensation and motor function), imaging studies (such as x-rays, CT scan, or MRI), and possibly discography. Once a diagnosis of lumbar spondylosis is confirmed, a treatment regimen is established. Conservative treatment consists of muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy. If conservative treatment is unsuccessful in relieving the symptoms, the patient is then referred to a spinal surgeon to determine if surgery is an option.

At The Bonati Institute, the use of endoscopic and arthroscopic laser surgery technology offers an alternative to the traditional open back surgery. These minimally invasive surgical techniques require only a local anesthetic, and the procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. The Bonati Procedures have been performed on nearly 20,000 patients with more than 90 percent reporting immediate improvement.

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