Spine Arthritis

Spine Arthritis

Spine Arthritis

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Spine Arthritis has many forms.  The most common is secondary to the natural aging process.  While there are many scientific studies on why we get arthritis,  we have to accept the fact that our bodies are programmed to degenerate over time.  All things wear out over time.  The human body does have an amazing ability to heal injuries, but the process of wearing out continues.  In the spine,  much of the process of wearing out is mediated through the disk.   This wearing out process is called the Degenerative Cascade.

In this process,  the intervertebral disc,  which functions as a ligament,  a spacer and a shock absorber, begins the process by drying up,  or dessicating.   The center of the disc contains proteoglycans,  which binds with water to form a gelatinous cushion within the disc.  Over time,  there are subtle changes to the proteoglycans,  and the water leaves the disc.  Without the water,  the disc,  which originally looks like a hockey puck,  starts to loose the tightness of the outer wall.  The wall starts to bulge,  similar to air leaking out of a car tire.  In addition,  the height of the disk wall starts to shrink.  When the side walls shrink,  the normal orientation of the joints of the spine,  called the facets change,  and the cartilage that lines the joints experience increasing pressure.  In addition,  as the disk wall shrinks,  the ligaments attached to the spine bones,  and the tendons attached to the spine muscles are no longer tight,  but loosen,  allowing increasingly abnormal motions across all the structures.  This directs additional abnormal forces onto all the structures,  and starts causing fraying,  and injury to the cartilage,  bone,  and tissues.   By this process,  you develop narrowing of the spaces that house the nerves,  and for bone spurs secondary to the pull on the bones.  In addition,  the body will try to decrease the forces experienced by the bones by increasing the surface areas of the joints,  thus enlarging and hypertrophying the facet joints.  This is the process of developing  Spinal Arthritis.  Broken bones,  and disc herniations can also accelerate this process.

Other forms of Spinal Arthritis is secondary to auto immune problems,  where the body falsely thinks certain tissues are foreign,  and tries to eliminate these tissues.  That is the process of Rheumatoid Arthritis,  and similar ailments.  This form of Spine Arthritis can be rapidly devastating,  and lead to significant spinal instabilities that may require surgical correction.

Unfortunately,  Spine Arthritis is a common problem to any community.  We can all try to minimize its effects by low impact aerobic activities,  weight management,  smoking cessation,  and activities modification.

If you have increasing pain caused by Spine Arthritis,  please have it evaluated.  For some,  surgery may provide an excellent solution to related nerve compression,  or spinal instability.

Citations

  • Rohekar S, Chan J, Tse SM, Haroon N, Chandran V, Bessette L, Mosher D, Flanagan C, Keen KJ, Adams K, Mallinson M, Thorne C, Rahman P, Gladman DD, Inman RD. 2014 Update of the Canadian Rheumatology Association/Spondyloarthritis Research Consortium of Canada Treatment Recommendations for the Management of Spondyloarthritis. Part II: Specific Management Recommendations. J Rheumatol. 2015 Apr;42(4):665-81. PubMed PMID: 25684768

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Author and Contributor to www.Spine-Health.com – July, 2015

www.Spine-Health.com/author/john-h-shim-md-facs

Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

Board Member Morton Plant Mease Research Council

Co-Director of Mease Neuro-Ortho Spine Center Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.

One of “6 Spine Physicians Ranked #1 on Google” – December 2016

Top Ten Most Liked Spine Surgeons on the Internet – July 2016

2016 Spine Surgeons to Know list – January 2016

2014 Spine Specialists to know list – September 2014

One of Ten Leaders of Certified Spine Programs – December 2011

 

The Best Orthopedics in Tampa

The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
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