This term is used to describe arthritis of the spine. It is a normal occurrence due to aging. Typically, these patients will experience low back pain which may be exacerbated by increased activity. Some patients will find that immobility worsens their back pain. They are stiff and sore when they get up in the morning or after they have sat for a while. They feel better after they get up and move around some to “warm up” or after a hot shower. Most people never suffer any major symptoms due to this normal aging process. The people that do have symptoms can often have their symptoms reduced with medications and exercise. If you are overweight, losing weight will help significantly by removing the stress on your spine.
For those patients who remain symptomatic, some will benefit from a lumbar fusion. Typically, these are patients where only limited levels of the are spine involved, not the whole spine.