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Degenerative Disk Disease

The weakening or wearing down of one or more vertebral disks in an individual’s spinal column. This wearing down process typically progresses after small tears appear in the disk walls. Even though the tears will heal naturally, the scar tissue that remains is not as strong as before, enabling the disk to collapse between vertebrae’s.

Causes
This condition is commonly attributed to as a natural part of aging, when disks in the vertebrae begin to lose their fluid and begin to weaken and collapse. However, it can also be caused by direct trauma to the back that cause tears and injury to the disk walls.

Symptoms
Degenerative disk disease can cause mild to severe pain in the affected area of the back, numbness or tingling in the legs and difficulty sitting and twisting.

Treatment Procedures
Treatment of degenerative disk disease depends on the severity of the injury. For minor back pains, an individual may be prescribed over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pressure on the area. Physical therapy treatments may also be used to stretch and strengthen the muscles in the back. For more severe cases, surgery may be needed to remove the damaged disk and fuse the affected vertebrae together.

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Dehydration

A condition that develops when an individual’s body doesn’t have enough fluid (typically water) to carry out its normal functions. A person will typically get dehydrated when they lose more bodily fluid than they take in, such as by rigorous exercise with no water intake.

Causes
Common causes of dehydration include intense diarrhea, vomiting, fever or excessive sweating. Not drinking enough water during hot weather or exercise also may be the cause.

Symptoms
With mild dehydration, an individual can experience lightheadedness or dizziness, dry mouth, headache and thirst. When he or she is severely dehydrated, however, such symptoms as unconsciousness, little or no urination, rapid breathing, fever and low blood pressure may occur.

Treatment Procedures
You can usually reverse mild to moderate dehydration by drinking more fluids, but severe dehydration needs immediate medical treatment. To help confirm the diagnosis and pinpoint the degree of dehydration, the doctor may order certain tests:

  • Blood tests. Blood samples may be used to check for a number of factors, such as the levels of your electrolytes and how well your kidneys are working.
  • Urinalysis. Tests done on your urine can help show whether you’re dehydrated and to what degree.

The most common form of treatment is through intravenous hydration, where fluids are pumped into a vein to provide the body with water and essential nutrients much more quickly than oral solutions do.

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Discectomy

An invasive, surgical procedure that involves the removal of an intervertebral disc of the spine. This procedure is typically performed to remove herniated disc material that presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord. It involves removing the central portion of an intervertebral disc, called the nucleus pulposus, which causes pain by stressing the spinal cord or radiating nerves.

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Diskography (Discogram)

A medical test used to detect abnormalities in the vertebral disks of the spine. During the procedure, a contrast dye is injected into one or several of an individual’s vertebral disks while images are captured on a television screen through an x-ray machine. If the disk is normal, the dye will remain in its center; if it is abnormal or damaged, the dye will leak or pool out.

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Dislocated Hip

A condition where the ball of the thighbone (femur) moves out of place within the socket of the pelvic bone (acetabulum). This type of injury temporarily deforms and immobilizes a persons hip joint.

Causes< br /> Since the hip joint is typically strong and stable, a person typically only suffers a dislocated hip due to strong force and pressure exerted on the area. Such force can stem from motor vehicle crashes, severe falls and direct blows to the area.

Symptoms
A dislocated hip causes severe pain to the hip area and leg. Numbness at the back of the thighs may also be present if the injury presses on the surrounding nerve area. Deformities on or near the hip area and inability to walk can also occur.

Treatment Procedures
Treatment of a dislocated hip can either be done through a closed reduction or open reduction. A closed reduction is where the bone is positioned into its proper place without incision. An open reduction is a surgical procedure that exposes the injured bones in order to position them into place or insert metal plates and screws into the site.

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