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Spinal Decompression for Lumbar Stenosis: What To Expect

Stenosis can impact any part of the spine, but it’s especially common in the lower back. It develops when space inside the spinal canal narrows, constricting the nerves and spinal cord passing through.

Spinal stenosis is a common problem, especially among people over 50. By this point, degenerative changes in the spine affect up to 95% of individuals. 

Fortunately, there are solutions. Dr. Vladimir Fiks doesn’t want to simply mask a person’s pain symptoms. Instead, he treats them at the source at Advanced Pain Management Center in Portland, Oregon. If you have stenosis in your lower back, here’s what you can expect from lumbar spinal decompression.

How spinal decompression works

The goal of lumbar spinal decompression is to reduce pressure in the problem area. When successful, the spinal cord and nerves in the area can pass freely again, unrestricted. 

This eliminates the common symptoms of lumbar stenosis, such as:

However, there’s more than one spinal decompression treatment. Dr. Fiks typically uses direct or indirect methods at Advanced Pain Management Center.

What to expect from direct spinal decompression

When conservative treatments fail to ease lumbar stenosis symptoms, Dr. Fiks often turns to the minimally invasive lumbar decompression (mild®) procedure.

During this treatment, Dr. Fiks creates more space in the spinal canal by removing buildup and thickened ligaments compressing the nerve. This tissue causes up to 85% of stenosis symptoms.

To perform the MILD spinal decompression, Dr. Fiks administers a local anesthetic and light sedation. Then, he makes a tiny incision smaller than a baby aspirin to access and remove tissue from the problem area.

This treatment takes less than an hour, and you go home the same day with little or no pain at all. And it’s so mild that you can often resume normal activity within 24 hours and without any restrictions.

MILD spinal decompression also comes with an 85% satisfaction rate, and people usually continue to see improvement over the next year. However, Dr. Fiks also recommends a simple post-treatment physical therapy program that you can perform at home to achieve the best outcomes.

What to expect from spinal fusion

In addition to the MILD procedure, Dr. Fiks offers spinal fusion with the StabiLink® MIS Spinal Fixation System.

Unlike other treatments, StabiLink creates stability in the spine with an implantable device. Once inserted, the implant links segments of the vertebrae together to restore alignment and ease pain symptoms.

Like the MILD procedure, it only requires a tiny incision, approximately 2-4 centimeters long, and you can go home the same day.

Dr. Fiks can provide personalized guidance on care instructions and activity restrictions based on your procedure. 

Lumbar spinal stenosis may be common, but you shouldn’t ignore the problem. Early intervention can provide symptom relief and keep your condition from worsening.

Do you have lower back pain? Contact Advanced Pain Management Center to schedule an assessment and learn more about your treatment options today.

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