Minimally invasive treatments for lumbar spinal stenosis
What is lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS)?
The spine changes as we age through processes such as osteoarthritis and/or degenerative spondylolisthesis, which may lead to a degeneration of the bones, discs, muscles or ligaments. These changes can lead to spinal stenosis, which is a lower back condition where the spinal canal or one or more of the vertebral foramina becomes narrowed.
Spinal stenosis can be seen as analogous to build-up on the inside of the drain of a kitchen sink. Over time, it the build-up narrows the available space inside the pipe. In spinal stenosis the spinal canal narrows, leading to compression of spinal nerves or spinal cord. Accordingly, the term "stenosis" comes from the Greek word meaning "choking" referring to the compression on the nerves. When the spinal nerves in the lower back are choked, lumbar spinal stenosis occurs often leading to pain, weakness, numbness or decreased sensation in the legs and buttock. Usually this pain is made worse with walking or prolonged standing and relieved by resting, although the symptoms will typically fluctuate.
Minimally invasive treatments for lumbar spinal stenosis: Interspinous Process Devices (IPD) - Indirect decompression for treating lumbar stenosis.
IPD and Indirect Decompression is a new, minimally invasive approach to treating lumbar stenosis that fills a gap in the continuum between conservative care and more invasive surgery.
The decompression device is implanted through a small tube the size of a dime to reduce tissue damage and blood loss. It’s a simple outpatient procedure with a rapid recovery time and no destabilization of the spine.
The implant acts as an indirect decompression device. Its anatomic design provides optimal fit and preserves a patient’s anatomy and ability to maintain motion. It acts as an extension blocker, relieving pressure on the affected nerves in the manner that one would achieve relief in a seated or flexed position. IPD provides patients with a safe and effective alternative when conservative treatment has failed and laminectomy is considered too aggressive.
Patients who have been diagnosed with moderate spinal stenosis that results from aging and wear and tear on the spine from every day activities, and already undergone six months of conservative treatment without relief may be candidates for the IPD. It may also be appropriate for spinal stenosis patients who have learned that traditional spinal surgery has been deemed too demanding for them.
To get more information about these procedures or to schedule an appointment to be evaluated for them, you can contact the Rush Pain Center at (312) 942-6631.