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What is lumbar spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication?

Lumbar spinal stenosis is broadly defined as narrowing of the spinal cord or spinal nerves in the low back. This is usually associated with back and/or leg pain that worsens with standing or walking and improves with sitting or leaning forward. Neurogenic claudication means pain, weakness, fatigue, and/or heaviness that occurs in the back and/or legs with increasing intensity the longer the patient stands or walks. 

WHAT IS VERTIFLEX INDIRECT LUMBAR DECOMPRESSION?

Vertiflex is a small implant that is designed to treat patients with symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication. It is placed using IV sedation in an outpatient surgery center; patients go home the same day. There are long-term studies that show this device can prolong or prevent patients from needing a more invasive back surgery. There is an approximately 4 week recovery period after the procedure is performed.

WHAT IS A MINIMALLY INVASIVE LUMBAR DECOMPRESSION (MILD Procedure)

MILD is a minimally invasive procedure where a small instrument is used to remove tissue, and thereby open space, around the spinal cord. This procedure is done for patients who have lumbar spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication. The procedure does not require general anesthesia, and the risk of the procedure is no greater than a simple epidural steroid injection. There are no restrictions after the procedure. There are long term trials that demonstrate improved pain and function after the procedure is performed.

HOW TO CHOOSE BETWEEN VERTIFLEX AND MILD IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMATIC LUMBAR SPINAL STENOSIS?

The benefit of Veritflex is that it is 100% reversible; there is no disruption to the normal anatomy, and if a more invasive surgery is needed, it can easily be removed. The device is not appropriate for certain patients who have osteoporosis or spondylolisthesis (shifting of the bones of the spine). The MILD procedure is less invasive as it does not require an implant, and the patient can immediately return to their normal activities. 

WHY WOULD I WANT THIS OVER A TRADITIONAL SPINE SURGERY?

These procedures provide the most minimally invasive way of treating lumbar spinal stenosis. Their advantages over traditional spine surgery are the significantly reduced recovery period and risk for complications. While these procedures provide several advantages over traditional spine surgery, they are not viewed as a replacement for a needed spine surgery.