What is lumbar spinal stenosis?
Lumbar spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication is a condition in which the area where the spinal nerves traverse in the lumbar spine becomes narrowed, causing compression of the nerves. When the nerves in the lumbar region become compressed, this may cause any combination of pain, weakness, numbness, and/or tingling in the low back and legs. These symptoms are typically more prominent with standing and walking, and decrease when sitting down or leaning forward. For example, patients with lumbar spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication typically report the following scenario: low back and/or leg pain with weakness, “heaviness,” numbness, tingling, “pins and needles,” etc. This constellation of symptoms worsens after walking a few blocks and resolves with sitting or if they’re able to lean forward while using a walker or a shopping cart.
What causes lumbar spinal stenosis?
In most cases, a combination of disc bulging, bone spurs and other arthritic changes, thickening of ligamentum flavum (ligament at the back of the spinal column), and spondylolisthesis (misalignment of the bony spinal segments) all contribute to an overall narrowing of the space within the spinal column through which the spinal nerves pass. This narrowing within the spinal column causes the nerves to become compressed or “pinched,” which then leads to the pain, weakness, numbness, and/or tingling in the back that radiates into the buttocks, hips, and legs.
What are the usual treatment options for lumbar spinal stenosis?
Lumbar spinal stenosis is commonly managed with medications, physical therapy, chiropractic, and lumbar epidural steroid injections. In those patients who have tried and failed these conservative options, surgery may be considered to help decompress the area(s) where the nerves are getting compressed.
How does Vertiflex Superion treat lumbar spinal stenosis?
Vertiflex Superion is a new, non-surgical treatment option for lumbar spinal stenosis. It is a device that is placed via a very small incision that indirectly decompresses the lumbar spinal nerves. With the pressure taken off the spinal nerves, patients then note improvements in pain and function.
Who is a candidate for the Vertiflex Superion procedure?
Patients with lumbar spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication who have tried and failed conservative treatment may be candidates for the Vertiflex Superion procedure.
What are the potential benefits of the Vertiflex Superion procedure for the management of lumbar spinal stenosis?
The Vertiflex Superion procedure is an outpatient, same-day procedure without need for general anesthesia. It has been shown to provide long lasting relief and can help decrease the need for pain medications such as opioids.
If you’ve been diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis and want to talk to Dr. Best about the Vertiflex Superion procedure, please call Orthopedic Specialists of Northwest Indiana at 219.924.3300 to book an appointment today!
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