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Are you able to stand or sit up straight? Then thank your spine! There are several small bones, form the backbone, from the hips to the neck, in the middle of the back. The spine supports the head, shoulders and upper body. Your spine plays another critical role. It has a tunnel made by vertebrae inside, which is the spinal cord. This is a set of nerves that connects your brain to a large part of your body.

As we get older, pain and stiffness often increase in the joints. Many of us accept that this discomfort is only related to the region, and indeed there is a specific decrease in function and flexibility as the bone disc and intervertebral discs begin to deteriorate over time. But there are several things you can do now to maintain the flexibility and comfort of your spine during your golden years. It is what happens to an ageing spine, a condition of the spine that often occurs in older people, and ways to prevent back pain and injury in the future. Maintaining a healthy weight, good posture, healthy eating patterns, and exercise are all good things we can do for our spine.

Here Dr Surya Prakash Rao Voleti provides you with the details about the most common spinal problems in elderly and treatments available for the issues. The articles in this section provide a lot of useful information about the various non-surgical and surgical procedures offered by Dr Surya Prakash Rao Voleti. A brief review of these articles will help you understand the types of treatments a doctor may prescribe.

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Most Common Spinal Problems In Elderly

Slipped Disc:

Most Common Spinal Problems In Elderly: How To Treat Them?

A structure that acts as a cushion to the back is called a disc. It sits between each of the vertebrae and avoids friction against each vertebra. As we get older, the discs start to dry out. If you put too much pressure on your back, the disc might break known as a herniated disc. Hands or feet can hurt, or you may feel numb or tired. In general, exercise and painkillers help. Non Operative treatment is usually successful, and If not, Keyhole spine surgery may be needed.

Osteoarthritis:

Most Common Spinal Problems In Elderly: How To Treat Them?

Vertebrae have slippery tissue at each end, which helps your back bend smoothly. When this cartilage becomes rough or worn, the spine rubs against each other, and your back hurts or stiffens. A doctor cannot reverse the process of ageing, leading to these issues. Still, medicines and physiotherapy, along with regular exercise, will relieve the symptoms and help patients to cope up with the problem.

Spinal Stenosis

Most Common Spinal Problems In Elderly: How To Treat Them?

Each spine has a space for spinal cord and nerves that branch out from it. When these spaces get shrink, bones can push nerves. You may not realize it, but every time your nerves get messed with and feel pain, numbness or tingling, or your muscles become weak. If it’s problematic, keyhole surgery can be done to make more space for nerves.

Sciatica

Most Common Spinal Problems In Elderly: How To Treat Them?

When pain radiates from the lower back, through the bottom and into the feet, then it is your sciatic nerve. Disc herniations, bone spurs, or other spinal problems can put pressure on the spine. Usually only affects one side of your body. Warm and cold compresses, stretching exercise and pain relief medications can help you feel better. However, you may need a doctor to correct the cause.

Cervical Spondylosis

Most Common Spinal Problems In Elderly: How To Treat Them?

It is the result of a gradual breakdown in the neck with age. It causes herniated discs, or the growth of additional bones called spurs to increase strength. The ligament that connects the spine can become narrower. Whatever the reason, your neck can be painful or difficult to move. If the disc or vertebrae press on nerves and nerve roots, you may suffer permanent damage.

Tumour

Most Common Spinal Problems In Elderly: How To Treat Them?

Sometimes cancer spreads where it starts to form new growths in your spine. Lung, breast, prostate and bone cancers occur more frequently in the spine. Various cancer conditions can also cause spinal tumours. Your back can hurt when pain spreads to your body. Your hands or feet may be numb or weak. Parts of your body can even get paralyzed. Your doctor can recommend surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.

Kyphosis

Most Common Spinal Problems In Elderly: How To Treat Them?

This condition bends your spine forward. It usually happens when your spine is broken or mash down. Older women get it most often due to multiple osteoporotic wedge compression of the spinal column. It can cause pain and other problems and, in severe cases, can irritate the whole body. Depending on how curved your spine is, treatment might include painkillers, exercises or surgery.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Most Common Spinal Problems In Elderly: How To Treat Them?

This type of arthritis usually starts with the lower back and thighs, becoming stiff and painful, especially in the morning. Over time, it can spread to your spine, joints and other organs. Young men receive it more often than women, and it can be inherited in the family. Early treatment with exercise and medication slows down progress.

Spondylolisthesis

Vertebrae may slide, so not aligned with the one above and below it. Degenerative Spondylolisthesis is a significant cause of back pain and claudication in the elderly. It Physiotherapy and rest help sometimes, but many of these patients will benefit from fusion and decompression surgery of the spine.

Treatment Options

Most Common Spinal Problems In Elderly: How To Treat Them?

Fortunately, most vertebral problems are only successfully treated with painkillers, but significant cause needs to treat with surgery. If the nonoperative treatment options fail to cure the problem, then the doctor may suggest surgical treatment depending upon the condition of a patient.

Surgical Treatment Options

Thoracic spine procedures

  • Thoracic posterior fusion for tumours
  • Posterior thoracic laminectomy
  • Posterior thoracic decompression
  • Thoracic interbody fusion
  • Thoracic posterior fusion

Lumbar spine procedures

  • Lumbar posterior fusion
  • Lumbar discectomy
  • Lumbar microdiscectomy
  • ALIF/OLIF/PLIF/TLIF/X-LIF
  • Pars repair
  • Lumbar laminectomy
  • Lumbar fusion for tumours
  • Lumbar decompression

Deformity spine procedures

  • Anterior/posterior spinal fusion
  • Posterior spinal fusion
  • Anterior spinal fusion

Other spine procedures

Conclusion:

Though many problems can be overcome with medication, injections or physical therapy. Only a few s may need surgery.

Although surgery remains the last option, advances in surgical techniques make spinal surgery less daunting for patients. Fortunately, pain caused due to arthritis or disc degeneration can treat without surgery. However, in patients with spinal stenosis surgery can significantly reduce debilitating symptoms in individual patients. With technological advances, many of these procedures are done a keyhole or a minimally invasive spine surgery fashion. (MISS) Minimally invasive techniques can offer shorter hospitalizations and shorter recovery times, fewer complications and lower costs.

Dr Surya Prakash Rao Voleti treats everything from complex traumatic injuries to back surgery for chronic pain and congenital and acquired (non-genetic or hereditary) disorders. Visit our spinal services website online or by calling +91 9848024699.
We hope that the information and links above will help you live the healthy lifestyle you want while avoiding back and neck pain that can prevent as you get older. We also encourage you to contact Dr Surya Prakash Rao Voleti by booking appointment, for additional information and guidance to reduce the effects of ageing on your back.