If experiencing pain or numbness in the lower back when standing upright, or pain, numbness, and tingling in the legs or buttocks when walking, a condition known as Lumbar Spinal Stenosis may be present. LSS is a condition where the spinal canal narrows and compression of the spinal cord nerves in the lower back occurs. A procedure known as Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression, or MILD, has been shown to help LSS patients stand longer and walk further with significantly less pain.
As humans age, natural wear and tear on the spine can lead to a multitude of contributors that cause the spinal canal to narrow. Factors such as thickening of ligament tissue, formation of excess bone, compression of the discs, or bulging of the discs can all compound the problem.
If symptoms increase in severity when walking or standing, but relief is felt when sitting or bending forward, then the type LSS may be treatable by removing the extra tissue causing the narrow spinal canal. MILD is a quick outpatient procedure, consisting of a tiny incision requiring no general anesthesia or stitches. Small pieces of bone and ligament are removed. The procedure is described by some doctors as similar to “removing a kink from a garden hose.”
Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression is a very safe procedure typically performed in less than an hour, with low complication risk. There are no implants or stitches required, and patients report an average of 53% pain reduction. Light activities can be resumed just a few days after the treatment.
While pain management is seldom the first option in treating back injuries, it can be necessary in extreme circumstances. When pain is well-controlled, it allows patients to be more active, and live a better life. Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression can be one of the most successful modern ways of managing severe back pain.