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Do you have a spinal condition that’s causing you chronic pain intense enough to interfere with your life or day-to-day activities? Are you afraid you’ll never be able to get your pain under control or that it might continue to worsen as you age?

WELL, YOU’RE NOT ALONE.

Many people with spinal disorders feel frustrated, confused, and helpless about their conditions. As many as 500,000 people suffer from some form of spinal injury each year. The good news is that you can ease your concerns and fears by gaining a better understanding of your condition.

At NJ Spine and Orthopedic, we work to help you understand your symptoms, diagnose your condition and inform you of the various treatments. Below is an overview of the most common types of spine conditions, as well as other orthopedic conditions.

Adjacent Segment Disc Disease

An adjacent segment disc disease is the presence of a degenerative disc that affects the spinal column above and below a previously operated segment. It can occur in any patient who has had previous spine surgery.

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Adult Degenerative Scoliosis

Adult degenerative scoliosis, also known as adult-onset scoliosis, is a unique and frustrating disease where the spine begins to curve due to age-degeneration of your facet joints and intervertebral discs. While scoliosis is often considered a childhood ailment, the causes and mechanics of adult-onset scoliosis are entirely different.

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Arthritis

Arthritis is an umbrella term that refers to inflammation of the joints. This can be due to many factors, including genetics, aging, prolonged joint stress from activities like running or playing sports, weight gain, and hormonal changes.

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Back Pain

Back pain is a broad term used to describe pain along the lumbar spine. The characteristics of back pain can vary widley, and the pain can be attributed to anything from brusing to more serious spinal conditions like disc tears or degenerative disc disease.

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Bulging Disc

A disc bulges when the outer layer of a vertebral disc swells outward and places pressure on the surrounding nerves and structures. Although a bulging disc is similar to a herniated disc, it is different in that the inner material has not seeped out through the outer layer of the disc. A bulging disc will usually occur in the lower back or the neck, but may also very rarely be found in the mid back.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The median nerve in the wrist is pinched. Compression of that median nerve can cause pain in the wrist, hand and fingers. Also numbness in the fingers can cause you to drop things. Hand weakness can occur if the problem is not addressed. It can be caused by a variety of circumstances and conditions.

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Cervical Deformities

Cervical deformities are a group of abnormal changes in the shape of the cervical spine. They can result from various factors, including trauma, muscular imbalance, degenerative disc disease, and spinal stenosis. These conditions may lead to pain and impaired movement.

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Cervical Herniated Disc

A herniated disc is when there’s an abnormal amount of pressure on one of the discs in your spine. The disc can no longer support that pressure, rupturing or tearing apart. The disc’s inner material then presses against nerves in the same area, causing pain, numbness, tingling sensations, and more.

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Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Cervical Spinal Stenosis is the narrowing of the cervical spine pathway of the spinal cord. The spinal cord needs proper room to work. It controls things such as your arm and leg movements and bladder and bowel control. If it is squeezed too much you can get shock like pain, tingling, arm weakness, arm and hand numbness, radiculopathy (nerve root pain or symptoms), clumsiness, loss of balance, difficulty walking and loss of bladder control.

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Coccydynia

Coccydynia is a medical term for the pain caused when you sit down abruptly placing too much pressure on your coccyx and damaging it. Damage to the coccyx is difficult to heal and sometime will not heal completely. Because this bone is not needed in our body, sometimes it is easiest just to remove it to alleviate the pain from a traumatic fall if conservative treatment methods fail.

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Disc Degeneration

Degenerative disc disease refers to spinal degeneration occurring as we age. It’s really not a disease but a set of circumstances that leads to the breakdown of the vertebral disc and surrounding structures. Degenerative disc disease usually starts to show itself as we age and the stresses we have put on our back over the years start to take their toll. Sometimes a trauma can cause it to occur prematurely. Degenerative disc disease is more commonly found in the neck and lower back, but can occur anywhere along the spine.

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Disc Tear

A disc tear usually happens when there is a combination of disc degeneration and trauma to a vertebral disc. When a disc tear occurs the inner disc material pushes into the tear creating a form of disc herniation. Occasionally the material will pass completely through the outer layer of the vertebral disc leading to a full disc herniation. Because a disc tear usually requires some form of trauma they are most commonly found in the neck or lower back. This is not to say that they could not be found anywhere in along the spine, just that it would be very rare.

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Dysplasia

A condition where the hip joint socket is abnormally shallow predisposing the labrum and cartilage to abnormal wear and tear and early arthritis.

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Facet Joint Disease

Facet joint disease is a condition that occurs in the spine and develops over many years as the facet joints begin to break down through every day wear and tear. The facet joint can become painful with a single traumatic episode. Facet joint disease is more commonly found in the areas of the spine where there is more movement (bending and flexing). It usually occurs in the neck or lower back, but as these facets joints begin to degenerate and there is more pressure placed on nearby facet joints, the process begins to cascade along the spine.

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Failed Back or Failed Neck Surgery Syndrome

Failed back or neck surgery occurs when a previous surgery has failed to provide results that would reduce or completely alleviate the patients back pain. Failed back and neck surgery is often a result of improper diagnosis, failed fusion, or lack of experience on the operating surgeons part.

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Foraminal Stenosis

Foraminal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the vertebral foramen whether it be from debris or other conditions. When the foramen begins to narrow, the nerves exiting it can become compressed leading to painful symptoms that are felt in the area as well as either the arms or legs. Foraminal stenosis can occur anywhere along the spine but is most commonly observed in the neck or lower back.

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Herniated Disc

A herniated disc is a vertebral disc that has broken down to the point where the inner material, called the nucleus, has seeped through the wall of the vertebral disc and causes pain in the surrounding structures or nerves. A herniated disc can occur in the lower back, the neck, and rarely in the mid back.

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Hip Impingement

A disorder of the hip joint caused by bony overgrowth that results in damage to the labrum and cartilage of the hip.

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Kyphosis

Kyphosis is a medical condition where the spine curves forward. Kyphosis can occur in adults or children. It is usually caused by an acute injury or disease that weakens the muscles around the spine. Kyphosis may also be caused by a tumor pressing against the spine.

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Labral Tears

The labrum is a fibrocartilaginous rim of tissue that essentially deepens the socket of the hip and improves stability. If the hip pops or locks, this may be a symptom of a labral tear. If a torn labrum is unstable and flips into the joint, this may cause rapid wear and loss of cartilage.

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Loose Bodies

A condition due to pieces of bone or cartilage floating around the hip joint. As the cartilage in the joint wears out, pieces of cartilage, and sometimes bone, can break off and create this condition.

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Lower Back Pain

As people age, bone strength and muscle elasticity and tone tend to decrease. The lumbar discs begin to lose fluid and flexibility, which decreases their ability to cushion the vertebrae. If the spine becomes overly strained or compressed, a disc may rupture or bulge outward. This rupture may put pressure on one of the more than 50 nerves rooted to the spinal cord that control body movements and transmit signals from the body to the brain. When these nerve roots become compressed or irritated, lower back pain results.

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Neck Pain

Neck (cervical) pain can be attributed to anything from bruising to orthopedic conditions such as disc tears, degenerative disc disease, and more.

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Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a condition that develops when the joint cartilage in your body wears away, leaving bone to rub directly against bone. Osteoarthritis most commonly affects the knees and hands but can also impact other joints such as the hips, spine, and pelvis. It is one of the most common chronic diseases among older adults.

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Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become weak and are more likely to break. Osteoporosis is also known as “porous bone” or “fragile bone” disease. If left untreated, it can lead to painful fractures.

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Pinched Nerve

A pinched nerve is a condition that occurs when surrounding tissue or structures compress the nerve and reduces its ability to function properly. The most common places in the spine that a pinched nerve occurs are in the neck or lower back. If the lower lumbar nerves become compressed or pinched, this condition is commonly referred to as sciatica. More information on sciatica can be found here.

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Pseudarthrosis

The decision to undergo spinal fusion surgery is not one to take lightly. If you have fusion surgery, you usually get it to limit the movement in the impacted area of your neck or back to help restore stability to the spine and eliminate or minimize your pain levels after a damaged disc gets removed. However, a fusion can fail after surgery. When this happens, pseudarthrosis occurs.

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Radiculitis

Radiculitis is not really a condition but terminology used to describe the neurological symptoms felt as a nerve is pinched, compressed, irritated, or inflamed. Although it is true that radiculitis can affect any nerve traveling out from the spine, it is most commonly seen in the lower back or the neck.

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Radiculopathy

Radiculopathy is a term that refers to nerve problems that have been left untreated in the spine. The problems are considered chronic and can be observed in any section of the spine, but are most commonly seen in the lower back or neck.

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Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction and impairment can contribute to lower back pain and/or pain in the legs. The pain can be particularly difficult, and may feel like sciatica or pain due to a lumbar disc problem. The sacroiliac joint lies next to the base of the spine, below and behind the lumbar spine, and above the coccyx. It connects the sacrum with the ilium (hip bone).

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Sciatica

Sciatica is a condition where the sciatic nerve has become compressed due to another underlying spinal condition. Due to the location of the sciatic nerve, sciatica only affects the lower back. Symptoms may present in the buttocks, down the legs, and into the feet.

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Shoulder Arthritis

Arthritis in the shoulder is caused when the joint that holds the shoulder blade socket and the ball of the arm bone together has become damaged or the cartilage has begun to wear out. Arthritis in the shoulder is quite painful and will get progressively worse if treatment is not sought out.

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Shoulder Tendonitis

Shoulder tendonitis occurs when there is inflammation around the rotator cuff tendons of the shoulder joint. The two most common causes of shoulder joint tendonitis are sports injury, where there is low impact repetitive damage to the affected area, or a sudden trauma to the shoulder.

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Snapping Hip Syndrome

This condition is often painful and is caused by rubbing of a tendon around the hip joint over a bony surface.

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Spinal Bone Spurs

A spinal bone spur is a bone growth that has been formed as the body has tried to heal another problem. While not all spinal bone spurs will become problematic, when they do, the pain and other symptoms can become quite intense at times. A spinal bone spur can develop anywhere along the spine, but are most often problematic in the lower back and neck.

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Spinal Compression Fractures

Spinal compression fractures can occur when the bones in your spine are under too much stress. These bones will either crack or break, and this can cause a lot of pain and trouble moving.

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Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the space in the spinal canal that is reserved for the spinal cord and the nerves that exit this area. When this area becomes narrowed, it places pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves leading to neurological symptoms. They might experience buttocks pain, cramps in legs, difficulty walking, and even sciatica. Sometimes the back and leg pain are made better when leaning forward and walking such as leaning on a shopping cart. Spinal stenosis is most commonly observed in the lower back and the neck but occasionally presents in the middle back as well.

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Spine Deformities

Your spine is a long series of discs and vertebrae that work to keep you upright and balanced. When the spine has an abnormal curve, it is called a spine deformity. Because your spine helps you stand up, any curves prevent the spine from functioning properly and can cause pain and mobility issues.

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Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis occurs when there is vertebral slippage that has occurred in the spine. This means that a vertebra in the spine has slipped forwards or backwards onto an adjacent vertebra. Spondylolisthesis can occur anywhere along the spine but is most commonly observed in the lower back and the neck.

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Synovitis

Inflammation of the hip lining tissue causing swelling, large collections of fluid within the joint, pain, and pressure.

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Tingling or Numbness in Extremities

Tingling or numbness usually presents in more serious spine conditions. The partial or complete loss of feeling to one or all of your extremities is usually caused by pressure being placed on the corresponding nerve. This pressure can be caused by conditions such as herniated discs, sciatica, and a host of other conditions.

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Trochanteric Bursitis

This is a condition where the bursa (fluid-filled sack) around the hip joint becomes inflamed, commonly due to a tendon rubbing over the outside portion of the hip bone.

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