Lumbar Spine Treatments Santa Rosa
Redwood Orthopaedic Surgery Associates provides a full scope of orthopaedic services of the spine including:
Our group, of board certified experts, utilizes the most current and proven diagnostic techniques and treatment modalities to deliver the best care to our patients.
The lumbar spine refers to the lower area of the spine between the pelvis and thoracic cage. It is made up of 5 vertebrae that are stacked on top of each other with cushion-like intervertebral discs in between. The lower back is the largest movable segment of the vertebral column and is extremely vulnerable to disorders, making it the source of many pain complaints. Lumbar spine pathology can cause low back pain in addition to sciatica. Nerve compression in the low back can cause sciatica. Sciatica is pain that radiates down the legs and can be associated with numbness, tingling and muscle weakness. Common lumbar conditions include:
Lumbar Herniated Disc
A herniated disc, also referred to as a bulging, ruptured or slipped disc, is one that protrudes into the spinal canal and applies pressure to a nerve root. A herniated lumbar disc can cause pain in the back and all the way down the legs and feet. About 90% of herniated discs occur in the lumbar spine. Treatment for a herniated disc includes anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy and steroid injections. Surgery is usually not required. When surgery is indicated it can usually be done through a minimally-invasive approach.
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
As a result of age, intervertebral discs often become less spongy and smaller in height. The decreased support of these discs can cause the spinal canal to narrow and compress the surrounding nerves, causing pain and weakness in the lower back and legs. The distribution of the symptoms will vary based on the level involved. Lumbar spinal stenosis occurs most frequently in older patients, and can be a result of arthritis. This condition can be treated with medications, steroids or physical therapy. More severe cases may require surgery.
Spondylolisthesis refers to a slip of one vertebrae relative to another. The most common causes include degeneration in the disc and facet joints or a stress fracture. The lower lumbar levels are most commonly involved. The slippage can cause back pain or sciatica symptoms. Treatments include anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, injections or surgery. The surgical treatment of a spondylolisthesis usually requires a fusion and laminectomy.
Thoracolumbar Compression Fracture
Compression fractures commonly occur in the setting of osteoporosis. A compression fracture typically involves the vertebral body and usually causes back pain. Bone mineral density can be assessed radiographically and medical treatment can reduce the incidence of these fractures. When fractures occur they can be treated with activity modification, bracing, physical therapy or surgery. Kyphoplasty is a minimally-invasive procedure that stabilizes compression fractures and improves pain.