Most of us will deal with lower back pain at some point in our lives. According to the CDC, one out of four U.S. adults report having lower back pain within the last three months. It is the most common pain reported.
Often that pain will be due to nerve compression from lumbar spinal stenosis.
To reduce pain and increase mobility for those patients, Dr. Trujillo can perform a minimally invasive procedure known as mild®. Let’s get into mild for this year’s final two blogs.
Lumbar spinal stenosis
Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is a condition where the spinal canal narrows and compresses the spinal cord nerves in your lower back. This compression in the lumbar spine is common — over 2 million Americans are diagnosed with it every year.
As we age, the natural wear and tear from the loads placed on our spine can lead to a number of contributing factors that cause the narrowing of the spinal canal — thickening of ligament tissue, formation of bone spurs on the lamina at the back of the vertebrae, and bulging or herniating spinal discs. These all can shrink the space available in the spinal canal. This is lumbar spinal stenosis.
What are the symptoms of LSS?
The narrowing of the spinal canal can cause several symptoms such as pain, numbness, or a tingling sensation in your buttocks, legs, and lower back. It may also limit the amount of time/distance you are able to stand or walk. If your symptoms increase when you walk or stand, but you experience relief when you sit or bend forward, then you may have a certain type of LSS that can be treated by the removal of excess tissue that is causing the narrowing of the spinal canal.
How is LSS typically treated?
Options for treating lumbar spinal stenosis have ranged from conservative measures such as steroid injections or physical therapy up to open surgery with a laminectomy or spinal fusion.
Obviously, open spinal surgery for LSS is difficult. Patients will typically stay in the hospital for 3-5 days. General anesthesia is used, and the patient has an incision that may run from 3 to 5 inches.
Fusion is a difficult surgery and involves a very lengthy recovery period. Plus, it can limit some movement because two vertebrae are fused together into a single piece.
If you’re the right patient, Dr. Trujillo may have a better option, mild®. You have to have the right situation to be a candidate, but if so, this is an amazing alternative to open surgery.
In December’s second blog, we’ll get into the details of how mild® is done. Until then, if you have any sort of chronic pain in your back, there’s no reason to live with it. Call Dr. Trujillo at Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic Associates, (855) 768-4968, to schedule an appointment to see how we can help.