Guide to Back & Spine
The ABCs of Degenerative Disc Disease LOCAL EXPERTS WEIGH IN ON WHAT POSSIBLE PATIENTS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE By Mike Boyer
he first thing you should know about degenerative disc disease is that it’s not a disease.
It’s a condition that results from the wear and tear on the spine over time. “Over the years as people get older with continuous motion those discs degenerate or become arthritic. Anything that moves wears out. It’s the same with joints in the body,” says Dr. Steven Agabegi, assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Division of Spine Surgery, at the UC College of Medicine and a spine
surgeon with UC Health. But degenerative disc disease is a fairly common problem and can lead to other issues as well, say physicians. There are 23 vertebral discs, which are composed of connective tissues surrounding a soft jelly-like center, in the spinal column. They act as shock absorbers, positioned between each bony vertebra, as ligaments holding the spine together and
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