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Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease

Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease

The intervertebral disc lies between each of the bones of your spine (called vertebra). The lumbar disc serves as a cushion between the vertebra allowing movement of the spine and absorbing forces on the lower back.

Each disc is a cylindrical pad composed of an outer annulus and an inner gel. When the outer covering of the disc (annulus) weakens and the inner gel losses water, it starts the aging process known as disc degeneration. When the outer covering of the disc degenerates, it can tear or rupture releasing inflammatory chemicals which causes back pain. And further disc degenerates cause chronic back or mechanical axial pain. The lower back becomes stiffer and unable to bend or resist external forces that are normally well tolerated.

Traumatic events such as accidents, extra strain during sports, heavy lifting and bending, twisting (as in golf) may cause weakening or tearing of the disc and lead to disc degeneration. Most patients with disc degeneration can manage their lower back pain with proper exercise, stretching and core conditioning.

Surgery may be necessary when conservative measures fail. Replacing the Lumbar Disc with an artificial disc replacement (preserving motion), fusion of an unstable Lumbar Disc or intradiscal injection therapy are potential options.

Patient Testimonials

"I had a Cervical Spine Surgery February 2017 and Lumbar Spine Surgery November 2017. Both Surgeries were a Success. I feel so much better....No More Pain! Thank You, Dr. Kropf... You're the BEST!"

-Martha B

"First off, I believe Dr. Kropf helped save my life! It's been 6 months since I had my surgery and my spine has fused successfully! Dr. Kropf and his amazing staff treated me like a human being instead of just a patient! The support and encouragement they gave me throughout the few years I have been going is incomparable! Thank you to all those who helped me during my recovery, especially Sakura, and Trisha! You are all Angels on Earth! God Bless you!"

-Stefifi A

"Dr. Kropf is literally a miracle worker. I have suffered with horrible pain for years from herniation at L4/5 & L5/S1. Had a prior micro-surgery from another surgeon which did not work. Dr. Kropf performed a double fusion through the stomach and back. Had my 7 month follow up yesterday and got a clean bill of health. Honestly, after about 5 months I was totally pain free. He completely nailed it!!! I also just referred one of my good friends who also feel in love with Dr.Kropf. I had interviewed 7 surgeons with my wife and we both agreed that there was no one better to do my surgery. This was not a fun thing to go through, but so worth it. Katie, Sakura, and Trisha also were awesome to deal with and super responsive."

-Lee E

"This man gave me my life back! I wouldn't be working today with him as a spine nurse ! I had a cervical fusion & artificial disc replacement for my lower back ! He's caring & compassionate & so is his staff ! He saved my husbands life also by ordering the right tests & got him to another specialist , I feel so blessed to have him! "

-Anastacia H

“Dr. Kropf is a very knowledgeable and experienced surgeon. He is just as straight forward and honest as I remember him from 19 years ago. He did an amazing job with my back then, that I flew across the country to discuss the second surgery with him!”