Innovative Minimally invasive procedure for Lumbar Stenosis
Approximately 1.2 million people in the United States have back and leg pain that is related to Lumbar stenosis, and this occurs when the spinal canal narrows due to degenerative changes to the point where the nerves get squeezed inside the spinal canal. There is a ligament that is usually thickened contributing to the stenosis. Degenerative changes of the spine are seen in up to 95% of people by the age of 50, and these changes ultimately can cause of spinal stenosis. As we get older, our disks begin to dry out and weaken, and this causes settling, or collapse, of the disk spaces and loss of disk space height.
Most people have no pain with sitting but they can not walk or stand secondary to pain with heaviness, cramping or numbness/tingling in their legs.
Dr. Jackson Cohen, Medical Director, Interventional Pain Medicine Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Memorial Healthcare System in South Florida, says when conservative treatment with medications, physical therapy and epidural steroid injections are not effective then traditional surgery is normally recommended. In some cases, the risks of undergoing a traditional spine surgery may be high for people with significant medical issues or sometimes people choose not to undergo spine surgery due to other factors and then they are limited with other options. Fortunately the MILD procedure (Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression) has become a great option for these patients.
It Is a same-day procedure, normally performed under IV sedation with a small incision of around 1cm. An instrument is then passed through the incision to the ligament and part of the thick ligament is removed to decompress the spinal canal. The procedure normally takes less than an hour and there are no restrictions after it. People can go home within hours of finishing the procedure and walk around. A bandage is placed over the small incision which normally heals in a few days. There is strong evidence that this procedure is safe and effective with the same safety profile of undergoing an epidural injection and 5-year data of sustained relief. This procedure can really improve people’s function and quality of life no matter how old a person may be.