Osteochondrosis of the spine.
Diagnostics & Therapy

Diagnostics helps in selecting the appropriate therapy.

Back pain can have many causes. To establish the diagnosis of osteochondrosis therefore an extensive diagnostics with a thorough examination of the spine is necessary.

Once the diagnosis is established, then the best treatment is individually selected together with the patient. Depending on the nature and severity of the disease, different conservative treatment measures (e.g. physiotherapy), semi-invasive procedures such as infiltration therapy or surgical treatment measures are used.

 

Diagnostics & Therapy of osteochondrosis of the spine.

Diagnostics. How an osteochondrosis is diagnosed

Essential: Intensive & extensive Examinations.

The basic diagnostic process consists of:

  • Taking the patient's medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Neurological examination
 

Stage of instability (pseudospondylolisthesis at L4/5).

Stage of instability (pseudospondylolisthesis at L4/5).

X-rays of the segments of the spine are always performed in 2 planes when the patient is standing, with functional images also possibly taken from aside.

 

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT).

Imaging the osteochondrosis: Examination of the spine using the MRI.

Imaging the osteochondrosis: Examination of the spine using the MRI.

The MRI is preferable over CT. Tomography (imaging in 'slices') makes it possible to evaluate spinal canal, nerves, bones, musculature, ligaments and oedema in the spine, as well as spinal canal.

 

Myelography.

This contrast medium study of the spinal segment is advisable if functional narrowing of the spinal canal is suspected. Neurological investigation including nerve conduction velocities (NCV) and electromyography (EMG) is advisable.

 

Therapy. How we treat osteochondrosis of the spine

Which treatment methods are available for osteochondrosis?

The type of treatment depends the severity of disease symptoms. Physical therapy is the main focus in the initial phases.

 

Methods to stabilise the movement segments.

Conservative treatment:

  • Pharmaceutical pain therapy (NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, opiates, etc.)
  • Physical pain therapy (electrotherapy, ultrasound, heat treatment, etc.)
  • Treatment with injections (trigger point injections, nerve blocks,etc)
  • Back classes
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Transplantation of intervertebral disc cells
 

Surgical treatment of osteochondrosis of the spine.

If conservative treatment measures fail, the spine surgery can help to remove back pain.

If conservative treatment measures fail, the spine surgery can help to remove back pain.

Surgical treatment is always the last treatment option available. There are cases where surgery is is a must. Examples of this include paralysis of the bladder or rectum caused by narrowing of the spinal canal or a slipped disc.

 

The following surgical techniques are available:

  • Minimal invasive surgery to increase the width of the spinal canal
  • Minimal invasive implantation of an intervertebral disc prosthesis (cervical spine and lumbar spine)
  • Dynamic systems (lumbar spine)
  • Minimal invasive surgical fusion from the rear (dorsal) or the front (ventral), alone or in combination with TLIF (transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion) or PLIF (posterior lumbar interbody fusion) in combination with percutaneous instrumentation (lumbar spine)
 

Osteochondrosis of the spine

According to the pension funds, every other disease resulting in a pension application is a spinal disease.

Osteochondrosis of the spine

Specialised clinics

Back pain treatment: Specialised clinics and hospitals for diagnostics and therapy of osteochondrosis of the spine at a glance.

Specialised clinics