4801404 tn?1359942496

To leave the disc or take out the disc, that is the question?

I have DDD and the surgeon never took out the old disc and just fused the transverse process with pedicle screws and rods. I would say I got 20 percent better.
Now after five years, I had an injury and I got a CT scan and L4/5 look like it went from mild whiting to full on bone spurs and the inter vertebral bodies are not even fused yet. Just the very back looks like the top and bottom are starting to touch and I'm in a lot of pain because they crunch on each other.
I told my surgeon how come they didn't take the disc out and fuse the vertebral bodies he said there was no evidence to prove taking the disc out has any effect. I learned the disc needs to be removed thoroughly and packed with morselized bone for better results.
Who's right? leave the degenerated disc in, or take it out and fuse the vertebral bodies?
3 Responses
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1711789 tn?1361308007
Hi there!

It actually would depend on the severity of degeneration and the type of disc prolapse. While for a few types removal/ replacement may be required; the same may nor show improved prognosis in a few other types.
Hope this information is helpful.

Take care!
Helpful - 0
4801404 tn?1359942496
You could'nt see the disc in the MRI at all, and there was mild whiting between L4/L5. They only fused the transverse processes. Does anyone treat hyper degenerated disc disease without taking out the disc and fusing the vertebral bodies? I was a roofer for 20yrs and played drums in a band for 20 years as well. They said the disc was hard, almost like bone. Now the vertabrea are full of bone spurs and cupping over one another. And the CT scan looks like an hour glass closest to the back, and it feels like they're crunching together.
Helpful - 0
4801404 tn?1359942496
I also noticed they fused the the transverse processes with the left side of L/4 L/5 on top of each other. There is barely any space between those verteblal bodies.
Helpful - 0
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