Spinal stenosis is a condition that involves a narrowing of the space in your spine where your spinal cord passes through. Nerves branch away from your spinal cord, and both the cord and the nerve roots of the branching nerves can become compressed, causing pain and symptoms.
At Pain Consultants of Atlanta, one of the most common reasons our experts see patients is back pain, particularly lower back pain. Although many different conditions can cause lower back pain, lumbar spinal stenosis is a relatively common diagnosis. The best approach to treating spinal stenosis is determined individually, but mild® is a successful procedure in many cases.
Mild stands for minimally invasive lumbar decompression. That means we perform a surgical procedure through an extremely small incision, which lessens the likelihood of infection or other complications.
Before we can describe what happens during the mild procedure, we need to describe spinal stenosis. Your spine has three sections: the cervical, neck, thoracic or midback, and lumbar or lower spine.
When you have lumbar spinal stenosis, the narrowing of your spinal canal happens in the lower part of your back. Along with pain in your lower back, you may also feel pain in your legs that gets worse when you walk or get in certain positions because the compressed nerves lead to your lower limbs.
In most cases, doctors begin treating patients who have lumbar spinal stenosis with conservative approaches, such as physical therapy or medications. If your pain persists, your doctor may suggest a mild procedure.
During the procedure, we give you both a local anesthetic and a sedative to make sure you remain comfortable. The incision is what we call a “poke incision,” which is how your doctor inserts a device used to remove the tissue that is compressing your spinal cord.
Removing the tissue allows more space for your spinal cord so it’s not compressed, alleviating your pain.
The whole procedure usually takes about an hour. It’s an outpatient procedure, so you can go home the same day unless there are unforeseen complications or problems. Most people can return to their normal schedule in about 24 hours.
Spinal stenosis is a progressive condition, which means it gets worse over time. Experts have found that mild is generally safe and effective in easing pain and allowing patients with lumbar spinal stenosis to enjoy more functionality. If other treatments haven’t worked, mild could be an option.
Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced, highly trained providers to learn more about our approach to treating spinal stenosis and whether or not mild spinal stenosis could be right for you.