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Lumbar degenerative disc disease develops as the spongy discs between vertebrae in the lower back get drier and thinner with time, impairing their shock-absorbing function. They also crack and develop tiny tears in the outer wall near nerves. A rupture in the wall allows the gel inside to ooze out and irritate nearby nerves. All of these changes can cause pain, numbness or weakness.
Lumbar degeneration also can include the facet joints and supporting ligaments of the spine. These degenerative changes can lead to instability developing in the lumbar spine, such as spondylolisthesis or scoliosis. In addition, these degenerative changes can begin to secondarily compress nerves contained within the spine, leading to pain, numbness and tingling in the legs, known as spinal stenosis.
Pain and difficulty walking don’t need to limit your activities. Our skilled physicians have the knowledge and experience to diagnose your condition correctly and to identify the right treatment for a broad range of spinal conditions. These include the most complicated issues and more common conditions, such as lumbar degenerative disease, that can affect adults of all ages.
Our specialists know surgery isn’t right for everyone. If simpler treatments don’t work and relief will come only from an operation, you’ll want surgeons with the most experience and expertise. We’ll evaluate your case and give you a treatment plan customized for you.
Norton Leatherman Spine is respected around the world as a leading provider of spine care. We also are the premier destination for patients in Louisville, Southern Indiana and beyond with lumbar degenerative disc disease. The combined team of orthopedic spine and neuroscience specialists at Norton Leatherman spine provides comprehensive care.
A herniated or bulging lumbar disc can compress nerves, leading to pain and numbness in the legs.
Many nonsurgical treatments can eliminate lumbar degenerative disc pain. Options include:
Surgery is considered for patients who have not gotten relief or whose symptoms have worsened. Surgical options
Lumbar discectomy can surgically remove pressure from nerves compressed by a herniated or bulging lumbar disc. Our surgeons often can perform a lumbar discectomy through a minimally invasive approach, which leads to accelerated rehabilitation and return to full function.
Lumbar laminectomy removes all or part of the lamina — the back of the vertebra — in cases where the entire spinal canal is narrowed due to degenerative changes. Our surgeons can remove the pressure on the nerves with a laminectomy procedure, leading to significant improvement in pain and function.
Minimally invasive lumbar fusion in addition to nerve decompression is necessary in some cases to restore stability to the spine. Our surgeons offer a variety of minimally invasive procedures to get you back to full function as soon as possible. They are actively helping to pioneer the next generation of minimally invasive spinal fusion procedures.
Kenton D. Leatherman, M.D., pioneered new approaches to spine care after World War II. His commitment to bringing the best and most innovative care to his patients provides the foundation for today’s practice. Our orthopedic and neurosurgical spine physicians combine proven treatments that have built our reputation for over 25 years with new developments at the leading edge of innovative care.
Norton Leatherman Spine surgeons are recognized experts in the evaluation and treatment of lumbar degenerative spinal conditions, having published extensively on this important topic:
Norton Leatherman Spine is a combined team of orthopedic spine surgeons, neurosurgeons from Norton Neuroscience Institute and pain management specialists who provide care for adults and children from Louisville and Southern Indiana, as well as from across the region, nation and world.
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