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A 40-year-old member asked:

are degenerative disc disease and disc space narrowing the same thing?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Washburn
Family Medicine 20 years experience
Not really: I wouldn't say the terms are interchangeable, but certainly degenerative disc disease can be seen as disc space narrowing as described on xrays and other imaging.

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A 37-year-old member asked:

Does degenerative disc disease really progress or does it stay the same?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Weston
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 31 years experience
It can progress: Asit progresses it can become less symptomatic it's "worsening" on x-ray or MRI may not involve worse symptomsor any symptoms at all just because you have back pain and ddd on imaging doesn't mean it is the cause of your dback pain.
A 30-year-old member asked:

Are degenerative disc disease and disc space narrowing two terms for the same disease?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Karl Schultz
Neurosurgery 29 years experience
YES: Degenerative disk "disease" is a misnomer. This is not a disease but rather describes the normal age related processes that occur to our disks. These changes include disk dehydration, disk bulging / protrosions/ herniations, and disk space narrowing. These processes can be visualized nicely with an MRI scan and sometimes can be inferred by an xray.

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Last updated May 26, 2014

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