Many patients who suffer the degradation of disc cartilage develop an abnormality called Schmorl's nodes. These are flaps or masses of tissue from discs that are losing their strength and stabilizing effect on the spine. The disc may or may not be fully ruptured when Schmorl's nodes stretch away from the central area and protrude into the adjoining vertebra. Schmorl's nodes are indicators of the onset of degenerative-disc disease (DDD) and may or may not indicate treatment.
Schmorl's nodes may be discerned by physicians in X-ray examinations. A spinal deformity of various degrees will be visual in the affected area. If the degeneration is progressing or a disc becomes herniated, the body may try to erect defenses. The growth of bone spurs or referred pain due to nerve compression can cause chronic problems if not addressed.
Schmorl's Nodes Warn of DDD
When Schmorl's nodes are first detected, preventive maintenance can be undertaken or surgical procedures sought to strengthen the affected area of the spine. Oral supplements, such as glucosamine, can aid elasticity and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, can keep pain and swelling at bay.
Getting a precise diagnosis of disc conditions is key to the avoidance or elimination of pain. Advanced arthroscopic surgery can repair damaged discs or relieve resultant compressed nerves. Experts at the Bonati Institute are innovators in techniques like microdiscectomy and laser spinous process release. Its patients enjoy the finest comprehensive care and an extremely high success rate of up to 95 percent.