DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE
This is a condition that is occurs in the natural process of aging and it happens when one or more intervertebral discs starts degenerating. This degeneration of the disc usually occur through the wear and tear of the spine over the years, however in certain cases degenerative discs can also occur due to a trauma or injury to the back. Patients who suffer from this spinal condition often get chronic back pain that can get even worse if left untreated.
How Multilevel Fusion Treats Degenerated Discs
Multilevel spinal fusion is a necessary back surgery that is used to treatspinal conditions like severe spinal deformities like scoliosis and kyphosis and spinal disorders like spondylolisthesis. Multi level fusion is also a treatment option for degenerative disc disease, it still remains controversial for this spinal pathology.
Two level spinal fusion is the recommended procedure in certain instances of degenerated discs as it has proven to be effective relieving severe and impairing low back pain that occurs from degenerative discs at two levels. However, multi level fusion involving more than three levels is rarely recommended, in fact many surgeons strictly advice against it in almost all cases of multi level degenerative disc disease.
Post-Surgical Success Rates
As mentioned above, multi level fusion surgery remains controversial as far as treatment of degenerative discdisease is concerned. However, two-level fusion surgery for DDD may help patient get relief from debilitating low back pain. However, more than two levels of spinal fusion surgery has relatively poor success rate for treatment of DDD. The reasons why three or more level spinal fusion can be a clinical failure for patients suffering from degenerative disc disease are:
- Risk of uncertain outcomes – The patient may feel no relief from his pain
- Fear of causing too much rigidity – After the surgery the patient suffers from limited movement and flexibility, which is in itself a source of pain
- Fear of adjacent level degeneration