What is Spondylolsis?

Spondylosis refers to a degenerative process affecting the vertebral disc and facet joints that gradually develops with age (arthritis). Most of the time, this condition causes mild to moderate neck pain and stiffness.

Spondylolsis Causes

A common form of spondylosis causing neck pain is cervical spondylosis (cervical arthritis), in which the facet joints in the neck become enlarged, causing the ligaments around the spinal canal to thicken and bone spurs to form.

Spondylolsis Symptoms

Many people have spondylosis of the neck and do not know it. This is because most of the time, there are no symptoms, or the symptoms are mild. When symptoms develop, they are typically neck pain, stiffness, and sometimes scapular and shoulder pain. When the spondylosis causes spinal nerve root or spinal cord compression, this is a more serious condition.

Non-Surgical Spondylosis Treatment Options:

Most patients who do not have neurological compression associated with spondylosis do not need surgery. Interventional treatments for cervical spondylosis may include:

  • Medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce swelling and pain and analgesics to relieve pain
  • Physical therapy and/or exercises for exercises to help relieve the pressure on the nerve root
  • Facet joint injections and medial branch blocks to help reduce swelling and treat acute pain that radiates to the hips or down the leg
  • Radiofrequency lesioning (RF)
  • Physical therapy and/or exercises for exercises to help relieve the pressure on the nerve root

Surgical Spondylosis Treatment Options:

For spondylosis without nerve root compression (radiculopathy) or spinal cord compression (myelopathy), surgery is typically avoided. In some unusual conditions, cervical spinal fusion can be performed.