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Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression (MILD)

As we age, our spine goes through changes due to wear and tear. That can cause the spinal canal to narrow, which can pinch or irritate nerves, resulting in a range of symptoms like pain, muscle weakness, numbness, cramping, and even loss of bowel and bladder control in more severe cases. This is called spinal stenosis, and it most commonly occurs in the lumbar or cervical part of the spine.

People suffering from spinal issues may have a hard time finding the appropriate treatment. Luckily, the MILD procedure has revolutionized how we deal with this condition, removing the need for steroids, opioids, general anesthesia, implants, or complicated surgical procedures.

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Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression (MILD)

As we age, our spine goes through changes due to wear and tear. That can cause the spinal canal to narrow, which can pinch or irritate nerves, resulting in a range of symptoms like pain, muscle weakness, numbness, cramping, and even loss of bowel and bladder control in more severe cases. This is called spinal stenosis, and it most commonly occurs in the lumbar or cervical part of the spine.

People suffering from spinal issues may have a hard time finding the appropriate treatment. Luckily, the MILD procedure has revolutionized how we deal with this condition, removing the need for steroids, opioids, general anesthesia, implants, or complicated surgical procedures.

What is the MILD Procedure?

Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression (MILD) is a lumbar spinal stenosis treatment approved by the FDA. It is designed to be less invasive and lower risk than previous procedures for treating this condition.

The MILD procedure is done in an outpatient setting. First, the doctor uses imaging tools to locate the spinal canal narrowing and the cause of lumbar spinal stenosis. Then, they make tiny incisions on the patient’s back and remove the tissue causing problems. Sometimes that can be small bone pieces, while other times, they remove soft tissues like ligaments. As a result, the patient should experience pain relief and cessation of other symptoms.

Because the procedure is minimally invasive, the recovery is quick and easy. Patients typically go home within the same day and can continue with their everyday activities after one day of taking it easy.

What Causes Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

Lumbar spinal stenosis is common among patients over 65 years old. That’s because they are more susceptible to an array of conditions due to tissue wear and tear. In addition, they can fall and injure themselves, triggering the onset of this condition.

The most common causes of lumbar spinal stenosis include:

  • Herniated discs
  • Bone overgrowth
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Thickened ligaments
  • Spinal injuries
  • Cysts
  • Tumors

Some people are born with a smaller spinal canal or another spinal deformity that can trigger the onset of congenital spinal stenosis. In addition, they may experience an injury during birth that makes them more susceptible to developing this condition.

How to Know if You Have Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

A visit to the doctor can help uncover whether you suffer from spinal stenosis. The most common symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Arm or leg weakness
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Frequent cramping
  • Balance issues
  • Pain that radiates down the legs
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control

The symptom intensity usually progresses over time. So, lumbar spinal stenosis may start without symptoms and worsen with time. That’s why it is vital to seek proper treatment.

Why the MILD Procedure Is Good for You

When a doctor diagnoses a patient with lumbar spinal stenosis, they often recommend a steroid injection that can help with pain in the short term. However, that doesn’t solve their problems and only brings short-lived relief. 

For more severe cases, doctors used to prescribe laminectomy surgery, which is a slightly complicated procedure that requires you to stay in a hospital for several days. In addition, you need four to six weeks to recover after surgery. Luckily, the MILD procedure provides significant long-term relief without the downsides of surgery.

Using the MILD procedure to treat lumbar spinal stenosis has many benefits. That includes:

  • Reduced back pain
  • Improved spinal function
  • Alleviated pressure off spinal nerves
  • Smaller incisions so no stitches are needed
  • No hospital stay
  • Quick recovery
  • Same-day discharge
  • It requires no implants
  • Lower risk of side effects and complications
  • No downtime
  • No need for steroid injections or opioids
  • Long-term relief

Is the MILD Procedure Right for You?

If you experience lumbar spinal stenosis symptoms that prevent you from doing what you love, the MILD procedure is an excellent treatment option. It can help you experience pain relief that will significantly improve your quality of life.

Schedule an appointment at our office to learn more about the MILD procedure and whether you are a good candidate.

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