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Spondylosis literally means stiffening or fixation of the bony building blocks of the spine (vertebrae) as the result of a disease process. Spondylosis refers to degenerative changes in the spine such as bone spurs and degenerating intervertebral discs. Spondylosis changes in the spine are frequently referred to as osteoarthritis. For example, the phrase "spondylosis of the lumbar spine" means degenerative changes such as osteoarthritis of the vertebral joints and degenerating intervertebral discs (degenerative disc disease) in the low back. Spondylosis can occur in the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (upper and mid back), or lumbar spine (low back). Lumbar spondylosis and cervical spondylosis are the most common. Thoracic spondylosis frequently does not cause symptoms. Lumbosacral spondylosis is spondylosis which affects both the lumbar spine and the sacral spine (below the lumbar spine, in the midline between the buttocks). Multilevel spondylosis means that these changes affect multiple vertebrae in the spine.
There are several medical terms that sound similar to and are often confused with spondylosis including the following:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/27/2015
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