Spinal Stenosis – The spinal cord lies in a canal which is formed by the vertebral bodies, the discs, the facet joints, the lamina, and between the lamina there are ligaments. Overgrowth or movement of any of these into the spinal canal can cause stenosis.
Stenosis means narrowing. Narrowing can lead to impingement (pressure) on the nerves and spinal cord. Pressure on nerves can cause pain, tingling or numbness, just as you can get tingling and numbness when you hit your funny bone (medial nerve at the elbow).
As the body ages, there is additional stress, or ‘wear and tear’ on areas that are involved with movement, and in the spine this is reflected on the facet joints, and on the ligament that lies between the lamina(bone). This ligament lies over the posterior aspect of the spinal cord and covers the cord where there are no bones. So when we bend, it stretches, like a protective rubberband over the spinal cord.
There is gradual wear and tear on the ligament over time and it gets tears and heals repeatedly and gets calcified and eventually it gets hypertrophied (overgrown). The hypertrophied ligament now pushes into the spinal cord, causing pain, and this occurs even more with standing and walking.
In the past, if a patient had failed conservative therapy, including epidural steroid injections, the only treatment left was likely a laminectomy surgery. The laminectomy is an open, operative procedure in which the lamina (bone that covers the back of the spine) is removed and the ligament is dissected out under direct visualization. This procedure is generally a very successful procedure with good outcomes, but comes with the risks of surgery and anesthesia.
Introducing a new treatment for Spinal Stenosis secondary to ligamentous hypertrophy:
The mild decompression procedure for spinal stenosis is a safe, new therapeutic option to relieve pressure on the spine (spinal decompression) helping reduce lower back and leg pain and increase mobility for those patients diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis.
The minimally invasive spine surgery is image-guided so the doctor can visually see the treatment field. The procedure is performed using specialized mild devices and a local anesthetic with conscious (‘awake’ or ‘light’ as opposed to ‘general’) sedation.
The mild procedure to treat spinal stenosis restores space (relieve pressure on nerves) in the spinal canal while maintaining the natural supporting structure of bone and muscle in the spine. This structural stability is accomplished by locating and removing only those portions of tissue and bone that compress the spinal nerves and cause pain.
In general, the mild procedure to relieve lumbar spinal stenosis takes less than an hour to perform, requires no sutures due to the minimal entry point (about the diameter of a pencil), leaves no implants behind and only a tiny scar remains.
Almost all mild lumbar spinal stenosis surgery patients are able to return home the same day. Unlike major back surgery, mild procedure patients generally return to their typical routine within a few days. Rehabilitation following the mild spinal stenosis treatment, a minimally invasive spine surgery, is also usually much faster and easier than that of open surgical procedures.
Clinical studies have proven the mild decompression procedure for spinal stenosis to be a safe, low-risk treatment with no reported major complications for those seeking relief from lower back and leg pain and increased mobility. In addition, complication rates for the mild procedure are lower and recovery times faster than other surgical procedures for treating lumbar spinal stenosis.
Not Burning Bridges:
Mild procedure patients are not hindered from receiving additional back surgery in the future, should it be deemed necessary. And if the mild procedure does not give the patient the relief of symptoms that they are looking for then surgery can still be performed in the future. In fact, patients requiring further back surgery may potentially be healthier due to their increased mobility and physical function following the mild procedure for lumbar spinal stenosis.
Schedule a visit:
Our physicians are among the most experienced in this procedure not only in the area but in the country and lecture and teach the procedure nationally and internationally. The Spine and Pain Institute of New York is a center selected by Vertos, the manufacturer of the mild device as a research center and currently completed enrolling patients for an upcoming study comparing getting the mild procedure vs. epidural steroid injections for the treatment of back and leg pain caused by spinal stenosis.
If you wish to learn more about the mild procedure or any other procedures feel free to call our offices to schedule an appointment.View Video