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Lumbar Arthritis

Lumbar arthritis, a form of arthritis affecting the lower back, typically affects adults over 50. As we age, the vertebrae and discs may begin to deteriorate, causing a reduction in the structural integrity of the spine. In fact, by the age of 30 our discs are already beginning to lose some of their moisture and elasticity. In individuals with lumbar arthritis the situation is pronounced enough to cause painful movement of joints and reduced range of motion.

Lumbar arthritis can contribute to the breaking down of the bone and disc structures themselves, which may cause material to enter the spinal canal and press on the spinal cord or the nerve roots that lead to other parts of the body. Additionally, lumbar arthritis is associated with bone spurs, projections of bone that grow out of existing skeletal structures in an attempt to increase joint stability. These bone spurs can also hinder the function of the spinal nerves.

What Are the Treatment Options for Lumbar Arthritis?
A doctor may use a variety of methods to confirm diagnosis, including a basic physical, a neurologic evaluation, CT scan, MRI, and X-rays. Some cases of lumbar arthritis can be managed with anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, heat therapy and other conservative means.

Other more advanced, severe, or complicated cases of lumbar arthritis may require surgery to remove deteriorated bone and disc material, bone spurs, or other matter impinging on the nerves. For minimally invasive surgery, The Bonati Institute of Arthroscopic Surgery is recognized as a leader in the field. To learn about the benefits of surgical procedures for lumbar arthritis, please see www.bonati.com.

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