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Osteophytosis (Parrot Beak)

 
 
Osteophytosis is a disease characterized by the abnormal growth of bone around a damaged vertebral joint, that is, when there is degeneration of the intervertebral disc.

These alterations, the osteophytes or parrot beaks, are the consequence of the dehydration of the intervertebral disc, which favors the approximation of the vertebrae and makes possible the compression of the nerve roots. In fact, osteophytes can be considered a compensatory response of the body to damages to the ligaments and bones, allowing to absorb the overload exerted on the joints and stabilize the spine.
 
 
 
 
 

Symptoms of the Disease

 
The main symptoms of this disease are severe pain in the affected region, movement limitation, tingling, loss of muscle strength, sensitivity and reflexes.
 
 
 

Causes

 
One of the most common causes of osteophytosis is the natural wear of intervertebral discs of age and genetic predisposition. It can also arise due to poor posture, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, spinal traumas and rheumatic diseases.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Diagnosis and Examination

 
The diagnosis of osteophytosis is made through the analysis of the clinical history and the physical examination of the affected patient. However, imaging exams such as X-rays, CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging are fundamental to analyze the extent and severity of the lesion.
 
 
 

Treatment

 
Analgesics and anti-inflammatories can be used to relieve pain, but it is essential to develop habits that facilitate the correction of posture problems, this is possible through physical therapy and regular physical exercise.

In cases where pain from herniated discs is refractory to medication, minimally invasive treatments (Plasmalight nucleoplasty - currently more advanced, ozone therapy or radiofrequency) may be used.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Lumbar/Cervical Stenosis

 
 
Vertebral stenosis corresponds to a narrowing of the vertebral canal (where the spinal cord passes) or the intervertebral or conjugate holes (where the nerve roots pass). The stenosis occurs more frequently in the cervical and lumbar region, since they are the segments of the column with greater mobility.
 
 
 
 
 

Symptoms of the Disease

 
Symptoms of vertebral stenosis include:
  • Low back pain when walking without irradiation to the lower limbs (lombociatalgy);
  • Decreased mobility of the spine;
  • Sensitive changes dependent on the affected nerve;
  • Motor weakness;
  • Reflex changes.
 
 
 

Causes

 
The main causes of vertebral stenosis are disc hernias, hypertrophy of interapophysial joints, thickening of the yellow and posterior longitudinal ligaments, slippage or fracture of vertebrae, osteophytes, tumors, cysts, or any foreign body that reduces the space of the spinal canal or conjugation holes.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Diagnosis and Examination

 
The diagnosis of vertebral stenosis can be made based on the clinical history and the physical examination of the patient, however to have a confirmation of the disease it is necessary to perform exams such as X-ray, Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance or Myelography.
 
 
 

Treatment

 
If there are no severe neurological changes (paralysis, sphincter disorders) due to vertebral stenosis, treatment may be conservative. Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and muscle relaxant medications may be used to decrease symptoms caused by stenosis. Corticosteroid infiltrations may be used near the compromised vertebral structure in order to alleviate the symptoms reported by the patient.

In cases where the stenosis is caused by disc hernias, minimally invasive treatments (Plasmalight nucleoplasty - more advanced nowadays, ozone therapy or radiofrequency) can be used.

If the treatments referred to above do not result, in duly selected cases, conventional surgery may be performed.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ankylosing Spondylitis

 
 
Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic and incurable inflammatory disease that affects the joints of the axial skeleton, especially the spine, hip, knees, and shoulders. Inflammation can also affect other parts of the body, such as the eyes, heart and lungs.
 
 
 
In the column this disease causes the vertebrae to merge, making it less flexible and may result in a kyphotic posture. In addition, when the ribs are affected by ankylosing spondylitis, the patient has difficulty breathing deeply.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Symptoms of the Disease

 
The initial manifestation of ankylosing spondylitis is persistent low back pain, slowing with movement and increasing with rest. This pain can radiate to the legs and be associated with a more pronounced spine stiffness at the beginning of the day. The symptoms may disappear spontaneously and relapse after some time.

Other symptoms include progressive impairment of mobility of the stiffening spine (ankylosis) and expansion of the lungs, increased spinal curvature in the dorsal region (kyphosis), tiredness, weight loss, low fevers and pain and swelling in the joints.
 
 
 

Causes

 
The causes of ankylosing spondylitis are unknown, with an indicator genetic factor, this is denominated HLA-B27. In these cases (where the person has HLA-B27), the most accepted theory is that ankylosing spondylitis can be triggered by an intestinal infection.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Diagnosis and Examination

 
The diagnosis can be made by a general practitioner, an orthopedist or a rheumatologist, who must pay attention to the signs and symptoms, the results of laboratory blood tests, and the imaging findings of the affected joints. Early diagnosis is extremely important to avoid the progression and complications of the disease.

Usually the X-ray allows the doctor to make the diagnosis by visualizing changes in the joints, although at an early stage of the disease these are not visible and an MRI may be necessary to achieve a detailed analysis of the bones and tissues.
 
 
 

Treatment

 
The goal of treating ankylosing spondylitis is to relieve painful symptoms and reduce the risk of deformities. Thus, use of medications and physiotherapy, or minimally invasive treatments (nucleoplasty by Plasmalight - more advanced currently, ozone therapy or radiofrequency) can be used.

Physiotherapy is fundamental for the sufferer of this disease to maintain a program of postural and respiratory exercises, in order to strengthen the muscles and promote mobility of the joints.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Spondylolysis

 
 
Spondylolysis corresponds to an injury of indeterminate origin defined as a defect or mechanical failure, with bone discontinuity of the intervertebral segment (pars interarticularis - small segment of bone that joins the facets of a vertebra).
 
 
 
 
 

Symptoms of the Disease

 
Some of the patients with this pathology do not feel anything at all, others feel a chronic low back pain the low intensity and non-incapacitating whose diagnosis is difficult and late. However, there are cases where the pain is disabling and that changes the quality of life of the adolescent or the athlete. The most frequently affected vertebra is L5.
 
 
 

Causes

 
It usually occurs in L5 because this vertebra has a congenital or acquired defect in the pedicle, which is a localized region of the vertebra. Usually what happens is that there is a small congenital defect, an incomplete joint, which with the practice of sports ends in bone rupture, causing a spondylolysis.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Diagnosis and Examination

 
Although some of the symptoms are indirect indicators of spondylolysis, the diagnosis is made through X-ray examinations, which can be complemented by computerized tomography and magnetic resonance, in all these exams it is possible to visualize the pedicle that appears to be fractured.
 
 
 

Treatment

 
Initially the treatment of spondylolysis is focused on the relief of pain through analgesic and anti-inflammatory medication and with physiotherapy that aims to improve the degree of musculoskeletal mobility.

In cases of disc herniation coexistence, minimally invasive treatments (Plasmalight nucleoplasty - more advanced now, ozone therapy or radiofrequency) should be used.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Spondylolisthesis

 
 
Spondylolisthesis corresponds to the slippage or luxation of one vertebra relative to another, causing misalignment of the spine. It can occur in any segment of the spine, but it is more common in the lumbar spine.

 
 
 
 
 

Symptoms of the Disease

 
The most common symptoms of spondylolisthesis are low back pain, lumbar skin depressions, muscle contractures in the back of the thigh (which can cause difficulty in walking), pain radiating to the lower limbs, tingling, muscle tension, stiffness and tenderness in the affected area.

Symptoms such as pain at night, weight loss, loss of strength or tenderness in the lower limbs are less common but equally important symptoms.

 
 
 

Causes

 
Las causas más comunes de las espondilolistesis observadas por el médico ortopedista son la displásica, ístmica y degenerativa. Aunque existen otras causas, presentadas en seguida:

  • Diplásica (asociada a defectos de formación);
  • Ístmica (defecto vertebral por estrés mecánico, más común en niños y adolescentes);
  • Degenerativa (causada por las alteraciones adaptativas de la columna al proceso de envejecimiento);
  • Traumática (por caídas, accidentes);
  • Post-cirugía;
  • Patológica (relacionada con la presencia de tumores).
 
 
 
 
 
 

Diagnosis and Examination

 
Although some of the symptoms are indirect indicators of spondylolisthesis, the diagnosis is made through X-ray examinations, and can be complemented by computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging.
 
 
 

Treatment

 
Initially the treatment of spondylolisthesis is focused on pain relief through analgesic and anti-inflammatory medication and with physical therapy to help correct posture and improve spine support.

The use of minimally invasive treatments (nucleoplasty by Plasmalight - currently more advanced, ozone therapy or radiofrequency) can also be considered in selected patients.

In more severe cases of vertebral slippage or in cases where the patient presents pain that is refractory to conservative treatment of medication and physiotherapy, surgical procedures may be performed to correct the vertebral slip.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Arthroses of the Joints

 
Osteoarthritis, also known as osteoarthritis, is a disease that attacks the joints promoting mainly the wear of the cartilage that covers the ends of bones that articulate, but also damages other joint components such as the ligaments, membrane and the fluid synovial. Articular cartilage is nourished by joint fluid or synovial, this helps to lubricate the joint, facilitating their movement, and allowing the healthy joints cartilage sliding over each other without friction, ie without wear. The joints most affected by this disease is: the spine, hands, knees and hips.
 
 
 
 

Symptoms of the Disease

 
Arthrosis is a disease of the joints that does not reach other organs and is characterized by the following symptoms:
  • The most common symptom of arthrosis is pain in the affected joints, which usually increases gradually during the day, with exertion and overload;
  • Swelling, heat, creaking and limiting the movements of affected joints are also common;
  • Joint stiffness can also occur after long periods of inactivity, for example, when the person is sitting or lying down for a long period of time.
The intensity of the symptoms of arthrosis varies greatly from patient to patient, and some patients are debilitated by symptoms. On the other hand, some have a great degeneration of the joints observed in the complementary diagnostic exams, but they have few symptoms.

Arthrosis of the spine can cause pain in the neck, dorsal or lumbar region. Parrot beaks that form along the spine may contact nerves, causing pain, numbness and tingling in the upper or lower limbs, depending on their location.

 
 
 

Causes

 
Arthrosis can have primary or secondary causes.

Primary arthrosis occurs mainly due to excessive use of a joint, but also due to the patient's natural aging. Repeated use of the joints over the years causes damage to the cartilage, which leads to joint pain and swelling. In more advanced cases, there is a total loss of cartilage surrounding the bony ends of the joints, this causes direct contact between the bones causing pain and limiting joint mobility.

Secondary arthrosis is a consequence of diseases or conditions that the patient suffers, including obesity, repeated trauma, joint structures surgery, congenital anomalies, hormonal disorders, diseases such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.
 
 
 
 
 

Diagnosis and Examination

 
Although some of the symptoms are indirect indicators of spondylolisthesis, the diagnosis is made through X-ray examinations, which can be complemented by computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging.

 
 
 

Treatment

 
Arthrosis has no cure but treatments can help reduce pain and maintain joint motion and function by allowing the patient to perform a completely normal life in most cases. Analgesics and anti-inflammatories can be used to relieve pain, but it is essential to develop habits that strengthen the muscles that surround the joint, this is possible through physiotherapy and regular practice of physical exercise. In cases where pain caused by arthrosis is refractory to medication, minimally invasive treatments (Plasmalight nucleoplasty - currently more advanced, ozone therapy or radiofrequency) may be used.