At Princeton Neurological Surgery, Dr. Lipani is a board-certified fellowship-trained spine surgeon in New Jersey who performs minimally invasive spine surgery as well as complex spinal procedures. Dr. Lipani is a specialist in the treatment for degenerative disc disease and many other spinal conditions such as spinal stenosis, herniated discs, low back pain, neck pain, spinal tumors, spinal cancer and more. Dr. Lipani treats patients from around the world, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey including locally from Princeton, New Brunswick, Hopewell, Pennington and communities throughout Somerset, Middlesex, Ocean, Burlington, Monmouth, Morris and Mercer Counties for degenerative disc disease.
What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Despite its name, degenerative disc disease is not a disease; it is simply a term referring to the wearing down of the spinal discs that may occur as part of the body’s natural aging process. The spinal discs separate the vertebrae, the interconnected bones of which the spine is made of; these discs allow the spine to move smoothly. Degenerative disc disease can affect any part of the spine; however, it typically affects the neck (cervical) and lower back (lumbar) areas.
Causes of Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease almost always occurs as a result of aging. In some people, the natural aging process simply causes the spinal discs to break down, or degenerate. These changes include fluid loss within the discs, reducing their overall flexibility, and tears in the discs, causing them to bulge or rupture. In some people, degenerative disc disease occurs after developing a herniated disc, typically caused by an injury.
As with many other conditions, degenerative disc disease is more apt to develop in people that smoke or are obese. It is therefore important to quit smoking and develop an active, healthy life to lower your chances of developing degenerative disc disease and many other conditions.
Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease
The symptoms of degenerative disc disease vary from person to person, depending on the affected area. Individuals suffering from this condition may experience pain in their neck, back, arm, leg, or buttocks. Some people may experience no pain at all from this condition, in which case it remains unnoticed. Individuals experiencing pain in any of the aforementioned areas should see their doctor to verify its cause.
Diagnosing Degenerative Disc Disease
To diagnose degenerative disc disease, your doctor will perform a full physical exam and review your medical history. The examination will entail inspecting the affected area for tenderness, numbness, decreased range of motion, and pain during motion, among other factors. In certain cases, x-rays may be utilized to obtain a clearer view of the affected area.
What Our Patients Have to Say
“Dr. Lipani is the finest neurosurgeon! Compassionate, Caring, Down to Earth with his professionalism; he is the best! My son Alan, had an L-4/ L/5 Spine Fusion, 7.5 hour surgery and I can not thank the “Great Doctor”/Surgeon for his dedication, kindness and caring.” – Alan B.
“The Doctor outstanding in every way possible. Explaining every detail and taking his time to do so. Amazing for a surgeon to be so informing of the procedure to me and my wife. After the surgery he came out and explained everything to me. My wife is doing great after the cervical spine fusion, moving her arm in ways she hasn’t in years and getting her feeling back in her fingers” – Anthony R.
“Dr. Lipani and his staff are excellent. Dr. Lipani was very thorough. He explained what needed to be treated and why. He has terrific bedside manners. He answered all my questions patiently. Did not rush me at any time. I recommended him to one of my friends and she was extremely happy with him too.” – Poornima S.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Degenerative Disc Disease
In many cases, degenerative disc disease can simply be managed with over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Depending on personal preferences, ice or heat may also be applied to the affected area.
If degenerative disc disease has led to additional conditions, such as osteoarthritis, more aggressive forms of treatment may be necessary. Physical therapy aims to relive symptoms with strengthening exercises for the affected area. Symptoms that remain unresponsive to medication and physical therapy may require surgical removal of the degenerated disc. Your doctor will develop a customized treatment plan for your individual condition.
Degenerative Disc Disease Surgery
Dr. Lipani offers image-guided spine surgery approaches for degenerative disc disease treatment, tailored to the needs of each patient.
Schedule a Consultation
Many patients needing spinal surgery don’t want to travel far from home to see a specialist in another state. With Dr. Lipani, you have degenerative disc disease options and never have to leave New Jersey. Dr. Lipani makes sure all his patients are well taken care of before and after neurosurgery, making them feel like part of the family. To learn more about our Degenerative Disc Disease treatments, contact us today at (609) 890-3400. Our practice serves Hamilton, Bridgewater, Somerset, Morristown, Union, Paramus, and the surrounding areas of New Jersey.