Adjacent segment degeneration normally referred to as ASD occurs in patients who undergo spinal fusion. If the fusion of the spine is closer to the neck region, the adjacent segment degeneration causes pain in the neck and its surrounding areas.
There is still ambiguity as to what causes the adjacent segment degeneration after spinal fusion. It can be the additional stresses on the adjacent regions where the fusion was performed. The degeneration can also occur because the person on which spinal fusion is performed already has all the inherent factors which cause disc degeneration and therefore, the post fusion ASD may have nothing to do with the surgery at all.
Whichever the cause may be, post-fusion pain in the neck or back wherever surgery is performed is a common problem among most patients. In order to diagnose the adjacent segment disease, the Los Angeles Pain Management Doctor will evaluate imaging studies such as an x-ray and MRI or CT scan.
Adjacent Segment Disease Treatment
Many patients who suffer from adjacent segment degeneration problem are able to cope with it without any need of medical intervention. However, not all conditions of post fusion neck pain are similar and if your condition is serious, there are treatment options available for ASD.
The reason for adjacent segment degeneration is usually the additional stresses to the segments above and below the fused segment. The stress conditions are already there which require the cervical spine fusion surgery in the first place; the process just gets accelerated for adjacent segments once fusion has been performed.
Conservative treatment includes avoidance of activities that induce further stress on the back, immobilization of neck, physical exercise and therapy, use of cervical pillow to reduce stress. In addition to all these stress prevention techniques, nonsteroidal medications and analgesics are also part of the conservative treatment plan. Pain medications may be taken by mouth or applied topically as well.
Pain Management Doctors in Los Angeles are able to perform outpatient procedures on patients that may prevent the need for further surgery. This may include medial branch blocks, facet blocks or radiofrequency ablation. These procedures may keep the pain under control from anywhere between 6 weeks and 18 months! These procedures work well for neck pain due to adjacent segment disease.
Pain management clinics in Los Angeles offer impressive success rates for adjacent segment disease which can often help patients avoid surgery. The CA Pain Network offers over 20 Board Certified pain doctors and clinics in the LA and OC areas.
Simply call (310) 626-1526 for more information and scheduling today!