In this month’s first blog, we addressed one of the major causes of chronic lower back pain, along with pain that can radiate down into the buttocks, legs, and feet — lumbar spinal stenosis. Stenosis can happen anywhere in the spine, but it is typical in the cervical and lumbar areas. In stenosis, the spinal canal narrows and the spinal cord is compressed. Stenosis can make something as simple as walking around the block an exercise in torture.
Spinal surgery to open more space for the spinal cord, laminectomies and fusion, are complicated surgeries that require a long recovery and can have some serious risks involved. That’s one reason Dr. Trujillo was excited to bring another option to our patients in Show Low suffering from lumbar stenosis. It’s called the MILD procedure, minimally invasive lumbar decompression. In this blog, we’ll discuss the procedure.
What is the MILD procedure?
Dr. Trujillo makes a tiny incision above the area of the spine where the compression is happening. He uses fluoroscopy to direct him to the target area of the patient’s lumbar spine. Then, using tools specially designed for the MILD procedure, he removes small pieces of bones spurs and excess ligament tissue that is reducing the space in the spinal canal. This returns space to the spinal canal and decreases compression. This reduces pain and give the patient back the mobility that he or she has been losing due to the pain.
Details of the MILD procedure:
- This is an outpatient procedure performed in under 1 hour
- Patients are able to resume light activities in just a few days
- Doesn’t require general anesthesia, implants, stitches, or subsequent physical therapy
These is little recovery necessary, as muscles aren’t moved, and bone is not cut with a MILD procedure. Patients can generally get back to normal activities in a few days. Strenuous exercise and lifting will need to wait a few weeks.
This isn’t right for all patients with lumbar stenosis. If the condition is more severe, threatening possible permanent nerve damage, this may not provide the degree of decompression necessary, and surgical decompression could be necessary. Because the MILD procedure doesn’t change the structural stability of the spine, open surgery can still be performed later, if the MILD treatment isn’t sufficient.
Do you suffer from lower back pain? Does it radiate down into your buttocks and legs? Call Dr. Trujillo and our team at Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic, (855) 768-4968, and let’s see if the MILD procedure could work to help reduce your pain.