Minimally Invasive Interspinous Spacer
Just about everyone understands what minimally invasive means in today’s world: it means that you will have smaller incisions and a quicker recovery time. Using an interspinous spacer procedure can be a faster path to becoming pain free. To understand how this procedure works, you must first understand the basic anatomy of the spine. Your spine is made up of 33 bones called vertebrae.
They are flat on the top, bottom, and front, but they have all sorts of protuberances on the back part of them. Each vertebra has a wedge-like projection coming off the back called a spinous process.
In fact, if you run your hand down your back, you can feel the tiny bumps of these processes with your fingers. An interspinous spacer is like a car jack between two successive spinous processes. By changing the angle of the vertebrae, you can ease pain, aide movement, and help with other back conditions.
At BASIC Spine, we perform this surgery with your end result in mind. We do not need to give you a large surgical incision in your back for this procedure. It is relatively easy with medical technology to insert the spacer using a few small incisions and cameras. This procedure sometime eliminates the need for spinal fusion, and that makes it a valuable tool in healing your back.
Interspinous spacers are often used in cases where the back side of the vertebrae are collapsing against each other and impinging on nerves that run close to the spinal column. For instance, spinal stenosis, or the narrowing of the canal that holds the spinal cord, is often treated with spacers because they change the angle of the vertebrae and can open up that channel. It is also used in degenerative disc disease.
This is a condition in which the soft, jelly-like discs between the vertebrae begin to break down. The spacer restores the intervertebral space to its normal height and keeps the bones and discs from pressing on nerve roots near the spinal column.
This procedure is usually performed in a same day surgical center or some other outpatient surgery facility. You may be given a light sedative with local anesthetic, or your doctor may prefer to give you general anesthesia for the procedure.
Small incisions are made near the area where the spacer needs to be inserted. Many different medical devices are available for usage to treat the spinal stenosis. Some devices are older and can result in a loss of back extension, or stretching backwards. Newer devices provide for more mobility in the joint.
Either way, the device will contact each spinous process and keep them separated from each other by a predetermined height. Once the device is securely inserted and calibrated, you are taken to recovery.
You should be able to go home the same day and go back to normal activities within a few days. Of course, if you had considerable pain and immobility before the surgery, you can expect some lessening of pain. However, if you have nerve damage as a result of your back problem, you may still experience some pain, regardless of the procedure.
With some devices you may experience a loss of mobility in the area, but newer devices are gradually decreasing this side effect. On the whole, you should have less pain and more mobility in your back.
At BASIC Spine, we are pioneers in back surgery, and minimally invasive interspinous spacers are just one of the procedures we offer. If you suffer from spinal stenosis or painful degenerative disc disease, this surgery can resolve your symptoms with less pain and less recovery time.
Contact us today to set up a consultation to diagnose your back problem and see if you are a candidate for a spine spacer.
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- Cervical Radiculopathy
- Lumbar Radiculopathy
- Compression Fractures
- Degenerative Disc Disease (Cervical and Lumbar)
- Facet Joint Syndrome
- Failed Back or Neck Syndrome
- Herniated Disc
- Lower Back Pain
- Nerve Impingement
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- Spinal Canal Stenosis (Cervical and Lumbar)
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- Artificial Disc Replacement
- Endoscopic Spine Surgery
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- Interlaminar Lumbar Instrumented Fusion (ILIF™)
- Facet Joint Injections
- Pain Pumps
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