Spondylosis refers to the degenerative changes in the spine that may cause loss of the normal spinal structure and function. Spondylosis can occur in the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), or lumbar (low back) regions of the spine. It is also known as osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. Spondylosis is a type of arthritis spurred by wear and tear to the spine. It happens when discs and joints degenerate, when bone spurs grow on the vertebrae, or both. These changes can impair the spine’s movement and affect the nerves and other functions.
Spondylosis is common, but it is usually not serious. Many who have it experience no pain, though it can be painful for some. Most patients with spinal osteoarthritis will not need surgery. If our surgeon identifies a spine condition (eg, a herniated disc) in addition to spondylosis that doesn’t improve with non-surgical treatments (eg, medications), then he or she may suggest surgery.