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If you live with lumbar spinal stenosis, your doctor may have recommended a VertiFlex procedure to ease the symptoms and make your life easier. After all, living with chronic back pain can make even everyday tasks quite daunting, significantly affecting the quality of your life. Read on to discover how the VertiFlex procedure works, what you can expect, and what are the drawbacks of this treatment.

Is Lumbar Spinal Stenosis a Serious Condition?

Lumbar spinal stenosis is a condition characterized by the spinal canal narrowing in your lower back. Normally, your vertebrae form an opening for your spinal cord, protecting it and giving your body support and stability. However, sometimes the bone or soft tissues obstruct this opening, which puts pressure on the nerves and spinal cord. That results in pain and other symptoms, depending on the affected area. Depending on the severity of compression, symptoms can vary from mild to disabling. They usually worsen with time if you don’t get the necessary treatment. But how do you know you have lumbar spinal stenosis?

What Are the Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Symptoms?

Typical lumbar spinal stenosis symptoms are:
  • Lower back pain
  • Leg or foot weakness
  • Cramping
  • Intense leg pain after sitting or standing for some time
  • Pain that usually gets better when you bend forward
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Coordination issues
If you experience some of these symptoms, you should visit a doctor. After discussing your health problems and performing a physical exam, they will order an X-ray or MRI to investigate the structure of your spine. If the results show you suffer from lumbar spinal stenosis, they will recommend treatment options that can include the VertiFlex Procedure.

What Is the VertiFlex Procedure?

VertiFlex is an FDA-approved, minimally-invasive procedure that aims to reduce the pressure off of compressed nerves. It requires an H-shaped implant placed between vertebrae to create enough space and reduce canal narrowing.  This procedure is perfect for people with lumbar spinal stenosis who don’t get the necessary pain relief from medications, injections, and physical therapy. VertiFlex is clinically proven to provide long-term relief from pain and discomfort caused by lumbar spinal stenosis. Although the procedure involves implantation, it is minimally invasive, and it doesn’t require the use of general anesthesia. Because of that, the recovery is quick, and most patients can even go home within the same day of the procedure.

What Are the Benefits of VertiFlex Procedure?

VertiFlex Procedure has many benefits:
  • It is minimally-invasive
  • The recovery is quick
  • The procedure cost is covered by Medicare and Medicaid
  • It is FDA-approved
  • It is reversible
  • It provides long-term pain relief
  • Soft tissue damage is minimized
  • The procedure is quick
  • It doesn’t impact the spine’s stability
  • It preserves a normal range of motion

What Does the VertiFlex Procedure Look Like?

VertiFlex is performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia. The doctor makes a small incision and uses a real-time X-ray to guide a dilator through the soft tissue to the spine. That provides enough space for the implant without damaging nearby tissues. After securing the implant into place, the wings slowly spread, restoring your vertebrae into a natural position. Once the doctor ensures everything is okay, they close the incision with a single stitch.  The entire process takes around 30 minutes, and you typically need about six weeks to fully heal from the procedure. 

What Are the Risks of VertiFlex Procedure?

VertiFlex is safe and effective, but there are still certain risks. For instance, it can become dislodged, causing damage to nearby tissue. Or, you can get a crack or fracture in your vertebrae during the implantation. You usually feel soreness around the incision site for several days after the procedure. In addition, some people don’t experience significant pain relief after the VertiFlex because the nerve damage is already substantial. That’s when we try different approaches to relieve pain.

Is VertiFlex Procedure Right for You?

Are you diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis or experience the most common symptoms of this condition? Then you should visit Space City Pain Specialists and discuss the VertiFlex procedure. Click here to request an appointment or get in touch with our pain experts.