top of page

DISORDERS of the spine


A disc herniation occurs when the outer wall of the disc (annulus fibrosus) tears, breaks open or ruptures. Some of the matter inside the disc (nucleus pulposus) leaks out and compresses nearby spinal nerves and/or the spinal cord. Although a disc herniation can occur at any level of the spine, the lumbar spine (lower back) and cervical spine (neck) are the most common locations affected. The location of the herniated disc determines where the symptoms are experienced in the body. Symptoms such as numbness and tingling, pain and/or muscle weakness may be experienced in the arm(s) or leg(s) as a result of a herniated disc.



This spinal condition comes from the normal wear-and-tear process of aging. As we age, our discs lose some of their flexibility, elasticity and shock-absorbing ability. Degenerative disc disease may become problematic if the disc height is reduced or if the disc becomes thin and stiffens. 


Spinal stenosis is a condition characterized by the progressive narrowing of one or more areas of the spine. Spinal stenosis can result in the compression of the spinal nerves and spinal cord. Although spinal stenosis can occur anywhere in the spine, the cervical and lumbar areas are most often affected. This condition can lead to the development of pain, numbness, weakness in the arms and/or legs or balance disturbances. 



Spondylosis is arthritis of the spine and is often called spinal osteoarthritis. Spondylosis can occur in the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine. As with other joints in the body, osteoarthritis causes progressive degeneration of cartilage. Some patients are asymptomatic (have no symptoms) and learn they have spondylosis as a result of an X-ray or examination for another problem. 


Spondylolisthesis describes the abnormal slipping or dislocation between two vertebrae. The causes, severity, and symptoms associated with spondylolisthesis are quite variable. Many people with spondylolisthesis have no symptoms while others may have chronic low back pain, leg pain, or neurogenic claudication from spinal stenosis.

Dr. Cluck


Dr. Michael W. Cluck is a recognized expert in the surgical management of spinal disorders including herniated cervical and lumbar discs, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, arthroplasty (disc replacement), and spinal stabilization and fusion for traumatic and degenerative spinal instability and deformity.

Dr. Cluck and the Valley Spine Care team are highly trained experts in minimally invasive spine surgery that will return you to an active, pain free, lifestyle in the shortest time possible.

If you're in need of a neck and back surgeon in Merced don't hesitate to get in touch today!

bottom of page