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A 40-year-old member asked:

Is spinal degenerative disorder and arthritis of the spine the same thing or different?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vikas Patel
Orthopedic Surgery 24 years experience
Yes: Yes, these terms are often used interchangeably. Both refer to degeneration of the discs or facet joints or both.
Dr. Craig Morton
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 18 years experience
Same: Sound like you're talking about the same thing. "degenerative changes" to the spinal discs, joints, and ligaments are the same as "arthritic" changes to the spine.
Dr. Edward Hellman
Orthopedic Surgery 29 years experience
Pretty much: The most common type of arthritis is known as degenerative arthritis and describes the gradual wearing down of the cartilage cushion in a particular joint. In the spine, the disc serves as the cartilage cushion between the vertebrae. When it gets worn down this is known as degenerative disc disease, which essentially is a degenerative arthritis of the spine. Thank you for your question.

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Last updated Nov 27, 2017
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