Spondylosis is a broad term that simply refers to some type of degeneration in the spine. Most often, the term spondylosis is used to describe osteoarthritis of the spine, but it is also commonly used to describe any manner of spinal degeneration. Facet joint problems can lead to spondylolisthesis in the lower back, in which a vertebra slides forward over the one beneath. This slippage can result in nerve root compression of the sciatic nerve, and pain down the back and into the buttocks and leg, often called sciatica. Spondylosis may also lead to spinal stenosis, in which a spinal nerve root(s) becomes compressed as it passes through the spinal canal (in the center) or foramina, an opening in the side of each vertebra. Nerve compression can be caused by a bone spur that encroaches into the space where the nerves either travel through the spine or leave the spine on the sides.
Spondylosis may also refer to degenerative changes in the disc called degenerative disc disease, in which spinal discs begin to thin, lose moisture, and break down. Pain from degenerative disc disease can originate in the disc itself, or come from changes in the biomechanics of the spine.
Dr. Liechty is a board-certified neurosurgeon specializing in minimally invasive surgical technique. He uses advanced anatomy-conserving technologies and many of the world’s most minimally invasive fusion techniques, allowing for complex procedures to be done through an incision as small 1.5 centimeters.