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Degenerative Disc Disease Specialist

Texas Brain & Spine Center

Neurosurgeon located in Webster, TX & Lake Jackson, TX

By age 60, you may start feeling the effects of degenerative disc disease. When chronic pain and limited mobility due to degenerative disc disease interferes with your life, the staff at Texas Brain & Spine Center in Lake Jackson and Webster, Texas, can help. Board-certified neurosurgeon James Gregory Bonnen, MD, offers comprehensive care, including minimally invasive surgery, to relieve the pain of degenerative disc disease. If you have chronic back pain or have become disabled because of degenerative disc disease, schedule a consultation at Texas Brain & Spine Center today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.

Degenerative Disc Disease Q & A

What is degenerative disc disease?

Degenerative disc disease is a progressive condition that affects the protective discs within your spine. These discs sit between your vertebrae, absorbing the shocks caused by your movements and keeping your back flexible. 

As you get older or due to damage or disease, your spinal discs begin breaking down and can no longer support your spine. As discs begin shrinking or when tears form in the discs, your vertebrae rub together. This friction can lead to chronic inflammation and pain in your spine, which can also radiate into other parts of your body. 

Symptoms of degenerative disc disease, like pain and numbness, may worsen over time and can ultimately interfere with your range of motion and quality of life.  

What are the symptoms of degenerative disc disease?

In the earliest stages of degenerative disc disease, you may have persistent backaches that worsen over time. Common symptoms of progressing degenerative disc disease include:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Radiating pain 
  • Weakness in back, legs, and arms

Pain may worsen after long periods of walking or sitting. You may also experience difficulties walking due to weakness or numbness in your legs and feet. 

How is degenerative disc disease diagnosed?

To determine if your symptoms are due to degenerative disc disease or another underlying medical condition, Dr. Bonnen reviews your personal and family medical history and physically examines your spine. 

In many cases, imaging tests, like X-rays or an MRI, can show Dr. Bonnen the severity and location of your damaged discs. 

Dr. Bonnen creates a treatment plan that focuses on lessening your pain and improving the range of motion in your spine. 

How is degenerative disc disease treated?

When degenerative disc disease begins interfering with your ability to stay active, Dr. Bonnen may recommend surgery to remove the damaged disc. 

There are two types of minimally invasive surgery used to treat degenerative disc disease:


During a discectomy, Dr. Bonnen removes damaged disc material that is pressing on spinal nerves.

Spinal fusion

Spinal fusion surgery involves the removal of the degenerated disc and the joining of two or more vertebrae to stabilize the spine. 

The type of surgery you have depends on the location and severity of your disc damage, your lifestyle, and your medical history. Dr. Bonnen discusses your options for surgery during your diagnostic appointment. 

If degenerative disc disease has left you disabled, schedule a consultation at the Texas Brain & Spine Center nearest you by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.