Patient Testimonials

testimonials


Read letters and watch video testimonials to learn more about our patients' experiences with Dr. Antonacci and Dr. Betz.

Testimonials By Condition: Spondylolisthesis, Herniated Disc, Scoliosis Kyphosis, Spinal Stenosis Sciatica, Degenerative Disc Disease.


Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) of the lumbar spine is a relatively common condition in aging adults; intervertebral discs serving as shock absorbers for the spine gradually dry out as we age, losing strength and resiliency. Symptoms and diagnosis of mild to severe degenerative disc disease are reviewed below.

Causes and Symptoms of Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease

Disc degeneration in itself is not usually a problem; it is a normal aging process. The related changes are gradual in most people; in fact, many of our patients don’t know they have DDD. They only become aware of the condition when being examined for another health problem. However, DDD can cause the discs to lose height, resulting in nerve pathways narrowing and causing nerve impingement, inflammation, and pain. In severe cases, this neurogenic pain may be constant. DDD may also cause mechanical pain, which results from the degeneration of the disc (the “shock absorber”) leading to bones in the spine pressing against each other.


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Diagnosis of Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease

Our physicians care about your health. To make an accurate diagnosis, we will use a combination of tools and sophisticated technology:

  • Medical history. We will talk to you about your symptoms, their severity, and the treatments you have already tried.
  • Physical examination. You will be carefully examined by one of our spine specialists for limitation of movement, problems with balance, pain, loss of reflexes in the extremities, muscle weakness, loss of sensation or other signs of neurological damage.
  • Diagnostic tests. Generally, we start with x-rays, which allow us to rule out other problems such as tumors and infections. An MRI will be taken to enable the physicians to assess the degree of disc degeneration, especially any loss of disc height. In some cases we also use a test called a discography to confirm the diagnosis. This test involves injecting contrast dye into the affected disc(s) to create a clearer image.

Non-Operative Treatment for Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease

For acute or sudden low back pain, we can prescribe pain relief medications such as acetaminophen, anti-inflammatory agents, and muscle relaxants. Temporary bed rest may also be suggested, but patients are encouraged to get up and gradually resume their activities.

We strongly believe in continuing your treatment even after you leave our facility – that is why we prescribe physical therapy for patients who can benefit from it. For lumbar DDD, prescribed stretching exercises can improve flexibility, and extension exercises help maintain the spine’s natural curve. Hot/cold therapy and gentle massage can also be beneficial for low back pain.

After acute symptoms subside (usually within two to three weeks), patients are encouraged to begin a daily exercise regimen. This may include low impact aerobics three times per week as well as daily back exercises.

Surgical Treatment for Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease

If symptoms of lumbar DDD persist despite non-operative treatments, further diagnostic tests may be necessary. These tests may include an MRI, CT Scan, Myelogram, and possibly Discography. If the surgeon discovers that one or more of the vertebral discs are damaged and are causing pain or other symptoms (e.g., weakness in muscles), surgery may be necessary. The surgical procedure is likely to include a discectomy (removal of the degenerated disc) and interbody fusion (fusing together of the vertebrae above and below the removed disc).


Specialists in Spine Surgery

Get your Case Study Review by Dr. Darryl Antonacci, The Leader In Less Invasive Complex Spine Surgery.


darryl-antonoacci-tnTogether Dr. Antonacci and Dr. Betz have a combined 50+ years of experience in complex spine surgery.

Specialists in Spine Surgery

SpondylolisthesisHerniated Disc
StenosisScoliosis
M. Darryl Antonacci, MD
Chief Spine Surgeon & Director
Specialist in Pediatric & Adult Spine
darryl-antonoacci-tn
Randal R. Betz, MD
Spine Surgeon
Specialist in Pediatric Spine
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For these type of surgeries, our surgeons often use the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques, which result in rapid patient recovery. Of course, if surgery is necessary, your surgeon will clearly explain the procedure to you prior to treatment.

Recovery from Discectomy and Interbody Fusion

While lumbar DDD is a natural part of aging, it does not mean you have to live with low back pain. We can help you return to a healthy, pain-free and active life. For most patients this can be accomplished with non-surgical treatments. But even if surgery is needed, be assured that we will discuss with you all risks and benefits of the procedure and provide you with the best care possible.

In addition to these treatments, the medical professionals at our practice have a deep commitment to patient education. By helping patients understand the causes of their conditions we can also help them to eliminate risk factors and to build “spine healthy habits” into their lives. While you are under our care, our medical staff will provide you with excellent information to help you recover, minimize risk factors and stay healthy.

 

Our Offices Are Conveniently Located in Manhattan and Central New Jersey

Have Your Spine Case Doctor-Reviewed by Nationally Renowned Spine Surgeon, Dr. Darryl Antonacci. After Doctors’s review, a staff member from Dr. Antonacci’s and Dr. Betz’s office will contact you typically within 48 hours for more information about your condition or to schedule an appointment.

Our Office Locations


newjersey-map

Near Princeton, NJ
3100 Princeton Pike,
Bldg. 1-D
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Office: 609-912-1500
Fax: 609-912-1600


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Upper East Side, NYC
800A Fifth Avenue,
Suite 301
New York, NY 10065
Office: 609-912-1500
Fax: 609-912-1600


NJ and NY Spine Surgery Treatment Centers


University Medical Center,
Princeton NJ

253 Witherspoon St, Princeton, NJ 08540
Mount Sinai Medical Center,
New York City

1 Gustave L. Levy Pl, New York, NY 10029
Saint Peter’s University Hospital,
New Brunswick, NJ

254 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
 

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Scoliosis Research Society National Board of Medical Examiners AOSpine Europe Consumers Research Council of America

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ANSWERS TO COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

You are not alone and many others have asked similar questions you may have. Read more to understand about spine surgery through Dr. Antonacci's approach.

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