Degenerative Disc Disease
Disc degeneration starts in young adults and then slowly progresses, particularly in the lower parts of the cervical and lumbar spine, sometimes leading to neck- or lower back pain. Protrusion, or frank herniation, of a degenerated disc may compress adjacent nerve roots, leading to loss of sensation, or even paralysis of the muscles supplied by this particular nerve. This is sometimes accompanied by pain radiating into the respective arm or leg.
While many cases of disc disease can be successfully treated conservatively by exercise, pain medication, or periradicular steroid injections, advanced cases with neurological deficits require minimally invasive surgery to prevent permanent loss of function.