Update on the pathophysiology of degenerative disc disease and new developments in treatment strategies
Adam H Hsieh1,2 , S Tim Yoon3
1Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA; 2Department of Orthopedics, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA; 3Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Emory University, Chief of Orthopedic Surgery, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Atlanta, GA, USA
Abstract: Degenerative disc disease (DDD) continues to be a prevalent condition that afflicts populations on a global scale. The economic impact and decreased quality of life primarily stem from back pain and neurological deficits associated with intervertebral disc degeneration. Although much effort has been invested into understanding the etiology of DDD and its relationship to the onset of back pain, this endeavor is a work in progress. The purpose of this review is to provide focused discussion on several areas in which recent advances have been made. Specifically, we have categorized these advances into early, middle, and late phases of age-related or degenerative changes in the disc and into promising minimally invasive treatments, which aim to restore mechanical and biological functions to the disc.
Keywords: degenerative disc disease, quality of life, intervertebral, aging
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