The mild® procedure or minimally invasive lumbar decompression is a procedure developed by Vertos Medical to treat lumbar spinal stenosis.
Lumbar spinal stenosis is a degenerative disease which causes narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back. This causes compression of spinal nerves which can lead to pain in the legs, buttocks and groin along with weakness, stiffness, cramping or numbness in the legs and buttocks.
Lumbar spinal stenosis may develop due to overgrowth of the vertebral joints and ligaments or bulging of a vertebral disc. It usually occurs after the age of 50.
Those with lumbar spinal stenosis have difficulty walking or standing and find relief while sitting down.
Lumbar spinal stenosis may be treated by conservative or nonsurgical methods such as rest, medication, physical therapy or steroid injections. Severe cases are normally treated by a procedure called laminectomy which involves removal of the laminar bone overlying the back of the spinal cord. This procedure however has certain drawbacks which include a large incision and the likelihood of developing tissue trauma, scarring and spinal instability.
The mild® procedure overcomes the drawbacks of a regular laminectomy surgery and is ideal if you have inadequate relief with conservative treatments, you do not wish to undergo invasive spine surgery or spine surgery is not recommended due to health reasons.
The procedure is performed in an outpatient setting. You will receive sedation and local anesthesia for your comfort. The site of stenosis is previously identified with the help of imaging studies such as a CT or MRI scan.
You will lie face down for the procedure. A thin portal is inserted through the skin on the back of the spine with the help of a trocar and guided to the appropriate surgical site with the help of live imaging procedures.
Specially designed instruments inserted through the portal are used to carry out the procedure. Part of the laminar bone at the site of stenosis is removed. The ligamentum flavum, which supports the laminar bone, is partially excised along with fatty tissue. This relieves pressure on the spinal nerves with minimal trauma to the surrounding tissues. Imaging studies are used to verify decompression of the spinal canal. The portal is then removed and the skin closed with a bandage.
Following the procedure, you will be taken to the recovery room where you are observed for about 2 hours. You will then be allowed to walk and may be discharged to home. A gradual advance in activities is recommended.
The mild® procedure can decrease pain with walking and standing due to lumbar stenosis thus improving function and quality of life. As with any procedure, there may be certain risks and complications. Speak to your doctor to find out if this procedure is ideal for you.