A 43-year-old member asked:
i have had a two-level spinal fusion (l5-s1). what is the best way to avoid (or prolong) adjacent disc disease?
3 doctor answers • 4 doctors weighed in
Orthopedic Surgery 49 years experience
Not much : Accelerated adjacent segment degeneration is relatively common and concerns
adverse effects following spinal fusion. It
is believed that this accelerated degeneration
is due in large part to increased
mechanical stress on the adjacent motion
segments. Stay in shape, do not gain weight.
5466 viewsReviewed >2 years ago
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 24 years experience
Fusion: I think the best ways to help minimize that risk are to stay active with low-impact activities such as swimming, cycling and to maintain good core strength. It is also important to avoid jobs that require a lot of repetitive heavy lifting as that will ultimately cause more "wear-and-tear" of your back.
5432 viewsAnswered >2 years ago
Neurosurgery 27 years experience
Not Well understood.: I agree with the other providers but the reality is that "adjacent level disc degeneration" is not well understood. The stress from fusion may accelerate this by about 3%/year. However even with patients who have disc replacement over fusion get this condition as do patient who have simple laminectomy. Thus, there is likely a genetic component to who develops this and who does not.
5254 viewsAnswered >2 years ago
Last updated Oct 4, 2016
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