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A "Mild" Approach to Treating Low Back Pain

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, there are as many as 1.2 million Americans, who suffer from back and leg pain related to Lumbar Spinal Stenosis (LSS), limiting their ability to stand or walk.

Historically, treatment options for LSS have been limited to invasive, high risk, open surgical procedures, with long recoveries.  However, in recent years a new minimally invasive procedure has been helping to restore quality of life in thousands of patients.

The mild® (minimally invasive lumbar decompression) procedure from Vertos Medical is a safe outpatient procedure that can help patients diagnosed with LSS stand longer and walk farther with less pain.

LSS involves the narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower part of the spine.  The condition is the result of natural wear and tear on the body as we age, due to thickening of ligament tissue, overgrowth of bone (osteoarthritis) or bulging of the discs that create pressure on your spinal cord (nerves).  Usually, the condition is found in people over 50 years of age, and the likelihood of developing LSS increases as we age.

During the mild® procedure, the doctor inserts specialized tools through a very small incision in your back (about the size of a baby aspirin), using radiology imaging as a guide. The tools are used to remove small pieces of bone and excess ligament tissue.  Removing these elements restores space in the spinal canal and decreases the compression of the nerves, which reduces pain and restores mobility.

mild® is being performed by only a handful of doctors in Georgia.  The procedure is performed in less than one hour typically and doesn’t require general anesthesia, implants or stitches.  Patients are able to resume light activities within just days.  Study data show that 79 percent of patients experience a significant reduction in pain and significant increase in mobility.

For more information about conditions of the spine and available treatment options, visit www.northside.com/spinecenter.

By John J. Moss, M.D., medical director, Northside Hospital Spine Center

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