Minimally invasive lumbar decompression (MILD) is one of the outpatient procedures performed at the Novus Spine & Pain Center for treating low back pain. The minimally invasive procedure (similar to a lumbar laminectomy) restores space in the spinal canal to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. The MILD procedure involves removing a portion of bone or part of a thickened ligament that is pressing on the nerve to restore space in the spinal canal.
Minimally invasive lumbar decompression (MILD) is a minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) that uses smaller incisions than traditional surgery and only minimal trauma to surrounding tissue. Most patients have a faster recovery time and less pain than traditional surgery.
MILD is typically used only when non-surgical pain management options, such as rest, medications, physical therapy, and epidural steroid injections have failed to provide sufficient pain relief.
Decompression is a surgical procedure that helps alleviate pain caused by pinched nerves (neural impingement). Lumbar decompression involves the removal of a small portion of a vertebral bone or part of a thickened ligament pressing on a nerve, causing pain. The procedure reduces the pressure on the nerve by restoring space and allowing the nerve to heal.
Minimally invasive lumbar decompression (MILD) is typically used in treating lumbar spinal stenosis, an anatomical change typically resulting from wear and tear brought on by aging or osteoarthritis. As a result, physical therapy does not always provide sustained relief. MILD is generally considered an option only after non-surgical options like physical therapy, medications, and epidural steroid injections have failed to provide relief after 8 to 12 weeks of treatment.
The procedure requires only tiny incisions in the back and does not require sutures or staples. Additionally, MILD does not require general anesthesia, which helps reduce recovery time. In most cases, patients can resume regular activity within 24 hours. In addition to reducing pain, the procedure helps increase patient mobility.
Conditions Treated with Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression
Minimally invasive lumbar decompression (MILD) primarily treats lumbar spinal stenosis which is a narrowing of the spinal canal that compresses the nerves and causes back or sciatica pain.
Bony overgrowths within the spinal canal narrow the space available for the spinal cord and nerves. The resulting pressure on the spinal cord and nerves can cause pain, weakness, or numbness that radiates into the legs. In more severe cases, it can make standing or walking difficult.
The MILD procedure involves the removal of a small portion of the bone of the vertebrae or part of a thickened ligament to restore space to relieve pressure on the nerve roots.
What are the Benefits of Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression?
Spinal surgery procedures can be classified as either open or minimally invasive procedures. Minimally invasive surgical techniques utilize tiny incisions made in the skin to allow the insertion of small, specialized instruments. An open procedure generally requires larger incisions, more anesthesia, operating time, and hospitalization, resulting in needing more time to recuperate.
MILD is a low-risk procedure that has two primary benefits. First, it can help decrease the amount of pain that patients are experiencing from pressure on a nerve in the spinal column. Second, being a minimally invasive procedure, the patient recovers more quickly than in open surgery.
Most patients report measurable improvement from pain radiating into the legs after the MILD procedure. However, the benefits may lessen over time if the patient has a particularly aggressive form of arthritis.
Novus Spine & Pain Center
Novus Spine & Pain Center is in Lakeland, Florida, and treats patients with chronic pain with numerous therapies, including minimally invasive lumbar decompression (MILD). By using a comprehensive approach and cutting-edge therapies, we work together with patients to restore function and regain an active lifestyle while minimizing the need for opiates.