Surgery for Lumbar and Cervical Spondylosis

Spondylosis is the medical term used to describe degenerative changes in the spine.  These degenerative changes are most commonly age-related and, therefore, their frequency increases with age.  By the age of 50, most people will have some evidence of spondylosis on imaging.

Given that spondylosis is effectively wear and tear of the spine, it could be reasonably described as a form of arthritis.  However, it should be emphasised that it is in the vast majority of cases not in any way an inherited or genetic condition and, therefore, entirely different from the much rarer forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Lumbar spondylosis is, if anything, even more common that cervical spondylosis and is characterised by low back pain.  This back pain can be very localised or a more generalised band-like pain across the low back.  It can be associated with sciatica but is most commonly manifest by back pain without sciatica.  The back pain is often positional and, therefore, affected by sitting, standing, walking and lying, but it does vary considerably as which of these activities exacerbates the symptoms in any given individual.

The symptom of cervical spondylosis is most commonly neck pain.  This pain can radiate up to the back of the head as well as down to the area of the spine between the shoulder blades.  Indeed, the most common cause of spinal pain experienced between the shoulder blades is cervical spondylosis rather than thoracic spondylosis.  In addition, cervical spondylosis can manifest itself with neck pain radiating out to one or both shoulders.  It can also produce significant neck stiffness and reduced mobility of the neck and head.