Arthritis can affect any joint and commonly occurs in the hips, knees, hands or spine. Lumbar arthritis is caused when the cartilage in the joints or discs is worn down as a result of wear and tear, aging, injury or misuse. This can cause bones under the cartilage to rub together, resulting in pain, swelling and loss of motion.
WHAT CAUSES LUMBAR ARTHRITIS?
Arthritis is a degenerative condition usually caused by the aging process and normal wear and tear on our spine from life’s daily activities. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, includes loss of cartilage, overgrowth of bone and the formation of bone spurs (Osteophyte). Like disc degeneration, arthritis can cause nerve impingement and severe pain. An additional term for osteoarthritis is spondylosis.
The following can be contributors to arthritis:
- Related diseases or conditions such as diabetes
SYMPTOMS OF LUMBAR ARTHRITIS
Common symptoms of lumbar arthritis include:
Back pain that comes and goes
- Lower back stiffness in the morning, such as after getting out of bed or after physical activity
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness
- Lower back pain that runs down into the buttocks, thighs, or pelvic area
- A crunching feeling or sound of bone rubbing against bone
- Weakness or numbness in legs or arms
- Limited range of motion and difficulty bending or walking
The MISI Approach to Lumbar Arthritis Treatments
Treatment of arthritis in the lumbar spine varies depending on the type, location and severity. Bone spurs caused by arthritis are treated with non-surgical methods and physical therapy. If surgery is warranted, bone spurs or stenosis caused by arthritis, can be treated through minimally invasive decompression procedure typically performed in an outpatient surgery center.
Severe arthritis can sometimes lead to spinal instability and may require a minimally invasive stabilization procedure. The minimally invasive procedures performed by the specialists at MISI allow our patients to avoid the risk, trauma and long recovery time associated with open back surgery so they can get back to life as quickly as possible.
Dr. Bryce Benbow has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.