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Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression

What is Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression or MILD?

MILD is a safe, minimally invasive, fluoroscopically (X-Ray) guided outpatient procedure, that may help Lumbar Spinal Stenosis (LSS) patients stand longer and walk farther, with less pain. MILD is performed through a 5.1 mm treatment portal that requires no general anesthesia, just light sedation, no implants, and no stitches. MILD safely decompresses the spinal canal by removing small portions of lamina and hypertrophic ligamentum flavum leaving the structural stability of the spine intact unlike some of the more invasive alternatives such as laminectomy surgery.

Safe by Design:

  • Tiny incision – 5.1 mm (size of a baby aspirin)
  • Constant visualization of the instruments and treatment area via Epidurogram
  • Instruments designed for safety
  • All activity is posterior to the dura, minimizing risk to nerve structures

Outpatient Procedure:

  • No general anesthesia required
  • No stitches
  • No implants
  • Low complication rate

Why is MILD done?

The MILD procedure is done to help patients suffering from Lumbar Spinal Stenosis.

These patients have difficulty walking far distances and pain when standing for long periods of time. If this is due to a thickened ligament, that is compressing their spinal canal, MILD may help. By removing this bottleneck, patients are able to stand for longer periods of time, with decreased overall pain.

Who is a Candidate?

Patients diagnosed with Lumbar Stenosis, who have difficulty standing for long periods of time, walking any distance without assistance and pain in their low back / legs, who have failed or no longer get relief from spinal injections. Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is primarily a degenerative, age-related narrowing of the lower spinal canal that results in compression of the nerve roots and subsequent neurogenic claudication symptoms. Neurogenic claudication symptoms include pain, tingling, and numbness in the lower back, legs, or buttocks that worsen with lumbar extension (standing or walking) but improve with lumbar flexion (sitting or bending forward). It has been reported that as many as 94% of LSS patients have neurogenic claudication.

The narrowing is caused by degenerative changes in the lumbar spine and is often multi-factorial in nature. Common co-factors include disc bulge, osteophytes, and ligamentum flavum hypertrophy. Conservative symptom management is often the first course of treatment, but if symptoms persist or get worse, a decompression procedure is required to alleviate the compression of the nerve roots.

What type of result can I expect?

Study data show that 79% of patients experience a significant reduction in pain and significant increase in mobility. Most patients report some improvement however, overall results may vary.

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