Who is a candidate, who is not?

  • Most "grown-ups" have some degenerative disc disease. And just because we have it, doesn't mean it’s the source of our back pain. In order for the procedure to work, we have to establish that the degenerative discs seen on your spine imaging (an MRI is the best modality for investigating disc anatomy) are indeed the source of your pain.

  • Thats fairly easy to do these days. A simple numbing of the disc reveals the perpetrator. If your back pain goes away with a testing numbing of the disk: it highly correlates to the diagnosis of "symptomatic degenerative disc disease." SDDD is very different than just DDD.

  • Physical exam findings can also correlate.

  • Your history tells us a story too. Most folks with SDDD have back pain which radiates into the hips and or buttocks. Sometimes even the thighs if the symptomatic disc is in the low back. And the story USUALY describes sitting too long pain and or standing too long pain. Lying down is better, walking less problematic than standing or sitting for a protracted period.

  • Thoracic or cervical SDDD is different altogether. In the thoracic spine the pain can radiate around the ribs to the front of the chest or abdomen.

  • Cervical SDDD certainly causes neck pain, higher disease even headaches, mid and lower disease radiates into the shoulder or arms.