Treatment of Spinal Disorders and Intervertebral Disk Disorders

In conjunction with our hospital’s highly capable Department of Physiotherapy and the seamless transfer to follow-up care or rehabilitation sports, we are offering a well-proven treatment concept.

Every year, we treat more than 600 patients suffering from spinal problems and problems of the sciatic nerve conservatively. In the case of herniated disks, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), as well as after failed intervertebral disk operations, we use epidural catheters. We have more than 25 years of experience with their use.

Anatomy of the Spine

The human spine consists of seven cervical, twelve thoracic, and five lumbar vertebrae, as well as the underlying sacrum and tailbone. In detail, each vertebra consists of the body, a vertebral arch that protects the spinal cord structures, the transverse processes, a spinous process, and the facet joints, where the vertebra articulates with the vertebra above, respectively below it.

The connectors between the vertebral bodies are the intervertebral disks, which may be considered to be shock absorbers; together with the facet joints, they are responsible for the mobility of the spine.

Intervertebral disks consist of a fibrous ring (annulus) of connective tissue, which surrounds a soft gelatinous nucleus and contributes to distributing the pressure between the vertebral bodies.


Causes of Neck, Arm, and Lower Back Pain

  • Intervertebral Disk Protrusion and Herniated Disks

    The degeneration of the disk’s fibrous ring can lead to a shifting of the gelatinous nucleus (disk protrusion) or result in the extrusion of the gelatinous nucleus from the disk structure (disk prolapse/herniated disk).
    The shifting of the gelatinous nucleus can cause local back pain; pressure or compression of nerves in the area of the spine cause typical pain in the extremities, loss of sensation, or even paralysis. In the area of the thoracic spine, herniated disks are extremely rare.

  • Facet Joint Syndrome

    Incorrect weight bearing or degeneration of the small vertebral joints (facet joints) may result in local or radiating back pain.

  • Spinal Stenosis

    This is a narrowing of the spinal canal in different sections of the spine, which is caused by degenerative processes and is rarely congenital; typically, leg pain is observed as well as a reduction of the distance someone can walk.

  • Spinal Instability

    This refers to congenital or acquired loosening of sections of the spine, which, if conservative stabilizing treatment fails, can also be stiffened (fused) surgically.


X-Ray Diagnostics

Conventional survey radiographs, functional and oblique images, which provide information about the bony structures of the spine, are some of the first radiodiagnostic procedures; they are complemented by computer tomography, magnetic resonance tomography, as well as, in special situations, myeolography, an imaging procedure for the spinal meninx using a contrast medium.

Conservative Therapy

In the event of acute pain, significant pain relief can be achieved through a special kind of positioning. Orally administered medication and anti-inflammatory drugs are complemented by more powerful medication administered to the patient via infusion bottles. By means of physiotherapy exercises as well as balneo-physical measures, the symptoms can be reduced even further once the acute pain phase is over; these measures can also be used as preventive therapy.
 
Acute spinal blockages can be treated and relieved via chiropractic therapy; in addition, the possibility exists to administer pain relief medication to so-called trigger points by means of targeted infiltration. Treatment using an epidural catheter, blockage of the sacrum, and the technique of paravertebral spinal nerve blockage are possible treatments in the area of the lumbar spine for treating sacrum pain caused by intervertebral disk problems and for inducing permanent freedom from pain. 

Operative Therapy 

Surgical treatment may become necessary after all forms of conservatively possible treatment have been exhausted, if paralysis or loss of sensation persists or if there is acute paralysis of important muscles, as well as in the case of paralysis of the sphincter of the bladder and the rectum (Kauda syndrome). Possibilities include open decompression of spinal nerves as well as microsurgical treatment of herniated disks using a special surgical microscope. In the case of spinal instabilities for which conservative treatment is not possible, spinal fusion operations can be offered using various procedures.

Contact Person

  • Dr. Sascha Schläger

    Senior Physician

    Specialist in Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery, Surgery, Manual Medicine/Chiropractic Treatment, Osteopathic Treatment

    Send email

    06371 84-2701

  • Dr. Dieter Wrede

    Chief Senior Physician

    Specialist in Orthopedics, Trauma Surgery, Surgery

    Send email

    06371 84-2701