One of the primary causes of back pain among patients ages 65 to 75 is a condition called lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS). This condition causes severe pain in the lumbar spine (the lower back region) along with leg pain and weakness when standing and walking.
Usually, pain doctors’ first line of treatment for LSS is an epidural steroid injection. While these injections do relieve pain, that relief is short-lived. While injections are the most conservative treatment for LSS, laminectomy surgery (major surgery usually requiring a 1- to 3-day hospital stay and a 4- to 6-week recovery period) is the most invasive treatment option. As an analogy, think of a spine affected by LLS as a clogged drain pipe. An epidural steroid injection is equivalent to treating the clog with Draino. Laminectomy surgery is equivalent to a plumber removing the clogged section of pipe.
Fortunately, there is an effective alternative to both of the above-mentioned treatments that will provide long-term relief from spine and leg pain and allow patients to return home the same day and immediately resume their normal activities. This specialized spine treatment is called minimally invasive lumbar decompression, or the MILD procedure. Returning to the plumbing analogy, the MILD procedure is equivalent to a plumber using a snake to remove the materials clogging the pipe, so the water flows freely again. The MILD procedure is available in the South Houston area from our spine specialist at Space City Pain Specialists.