Degenerative Disc Specialist

Kenneth Nwosu, MD

Spine Surgeon located in Burien, WA & Puyallup, WA

As you age, your risk for chronic pain from degenerative changes in the spine increases. When pain becomes too much to keep up with an active lifestyle, you may need surgery. At his orthopedic practices in Burien and Puyallup, Washington, Kenneth Nwosu, MD, offers the latest advancements in minimally invasive surgeries to lessen pain and restore stability in your spine. Learn more about the benefits of surgery for degenerative disc disease by calling the office nearest you or by booking a consultation online today.

Degenerative Disc Q & A

What is degenerative disc disease?

Degenerative disc disease is a condition associated with aging that causes damage to the protective discs in-between your spinal vertebrae. Disc damage can also occur due to obesity or an injury.

Each rubbery disc features a tough exterior and a soft center that absorbs the shocks of your movements and prevents vertebrae from rubbing together. Over time, these discs can wear out, losing hydration and causing tears in the disc structure.

Disc damage can force the soft center to protrude outside of the disc, putting pressure on surrounding nerves. Nerve compression can result in a number of painful symptoms and interfere with your mobility.

What are the symptoms of degenerative disc disease?

You can have degenerative disc disease without any symptoms. However, some sufferers may develop chronic pain that becomes debilitating as well as symptoms like:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness

When disc damage occurs in your cervical (neck) spine, you may have pain that radiates into your arms, hands, and fingers. If the damaged discs are in your lumbar (lower back) spine, your buttocks, legs, and feet may be affected.

How is degenerative disc disease diagnosed?

During your consultation, Kenneth Nwosu, MD, listens to your symptoms and performs a physical exam of your spine. He identifies areas of pain and tenderness and evaluates your range of motion.

To assess the health of your discs, Dr. Nwosu uses imaging tests, like an MRI or CT scan. He can also use these tests to rule out other conditions that may be causing your pain.

Do I need surgery for degenerative disc disease?

You may be a candidate for surgery to relieve pain and other symptoms of degenerative disc disease if other treatments aren’t working for you. Surgery may also be right if your symptoms are making it difficult to stay physically active or perform your job.

Dr. Nwosu uses minimally invasive techniques to remove the damaged discs and alleviate pressure on your nerves. In some cases, you may also need a spinal fusion procedure, which fuses two or more vertebrae together into a solid piece, providing long-term stabilization of your spine.

Based on your symptoms and your overall spine health, Dr. Nwosu can determine which technique is best for your long-term relief of pain and recovery.

To find out if you qualify for surgery for degenerative disc disease, schedule a consultation with Kenneth Nwosu, MD, online or by calling the office nearest you.