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Vertebral Column Degenerative Diseases - Essay Example

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Vertebral Column Degenerative Diseases Name: Institution: Vertebral Column Degenerative Diseases Vertebral column degenerative diseases entail a group of conditions or disorders involving loss of the typical configuration and functions of the intervertebral disc or spine…
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Vertebral Column Degenerative Diseases
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Download file to see previous pages As years advance, the discs tend to weaken and flatten, signifying the onset of degeneration. The intervertebral disc degeneration is characterized by herniations, bulging, spinal stenosis, fissures, and dehydration, which put pressure on nerve roots and the spinal cord. This paper will explain the diseases with a focus on the medical terminology of the main concepts. It will also highlight the symptoms, how patients are able to go to doctors, steps of diagnosis, and treatment. The vertebral column degenerative disease is more prevalent among the elderly population, but acute herniations may also be found among the middle-aged adult population. Pathologic and age-related causal factors of degenerative changes can range between traumatic, vascular, genetic, toxic, and metabolic ones. There are three key pathogenetic mechanisms involved in the disease: acute trauma, chronic, dynamic and static overload, and decreased endplate permeability. Acute Trauma It causes vertebral instability by altering the spinal alignment, leading to the accelerated degeneration. Frequently, this mechanism is associated with the discovertebral degeneration that commonly follows acute cervical traumas. Chronic, Dynamic and Static Overload Such overloads cause chronic micro-traumas and are considered to be the most significant factors that lead to disc degeneration. The prevalence of higher rates of disc herniations at maximal levels of axial loads confirms this fact. Decreased Endplate Permeability This causes dysfunction of chondrocytes and fibroblasts, subsequently leading to the alteration of the ratio of keratin to chondroitin sulfate. The nucleus pulposus water loss and ensuing rigidity are determined by matrix degeneration. Although dependent on the specific location of the spine’s structural problem, the key symptoms of the vertebral column degenerative disease include chronic and / or sharp pain, sensory loss, limited motion and weakness (Macedo et al., 2009). A patient will experience a significantly increased limited motion and weakness if the degeneration causes injury or compression of the spinal cord. As the disease worsens, there will be a loss of bowel, bladder, and sexual functions. For example, a 50-year-old construction worker had pains in the low back due to lifting heavy weights, but they were not serious enough to seek medical attention. When the pain spread down to the thigh and into the knee, he experienced difficulties in bending and could not sit for more than ten minutes. As a form of physical exercise, he walks 200 meters to a therapist. In diagnosis, the doctor usually starts with a spinal X-ray. The discs will not be shown by X-ray, but other structural changes will be noticed. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans show details of the discs and allow the doctor to examine the spinal canal space and nerves and the way the disease affects them. However, diagnosis is prone to problems and may be obscured by false positive findings and scenarios where the scans and the patient’s symptoms do not correlate. For more accurate findings, the doctor also asks specific questions regarding the behavior and location of the pain. The patient is also asked to indicate on a body diagram where they have numbness, tingling, and pain. The patient’s posture and mobility are observed, including the legs and arms’ range of motion. The first treatment is bed rest followed by oral medication for pain, physical therapy for strengthening ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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