Lumbar Posterior Interspinous Process Device Placement
If you have severe low back pain, it may be caused by the degeneration of bones in your spine called processes. Run your hand over your spine. The protruding structures that you feel are the processes. Lumbar posterior interspinous process device placement is a minimally invasive surgery used to treat lumbar spinal stenosis. Interspinous devices also assist in other spinal degeneration conditions such as facet syndrome, discopathy, and lumbar instability.
This procedure is one of a new series of minimally invasive spine surgeries that have superseded previous ones, and it is known to deliver more satisfying patient outcomes.
Potential Benefits of Interspinous Process Device Placement
The interspinous process device expands the space available for your nerves and spinal cord. Compared to traditional surgery such as a laminectomy, the newer surgery does not require the removal of bone and produces less trauma on the ligaments and muscles supporting the spine.
Additional benefits of this procedure include the following:
- Preserve spinal motion (Mobility is limited but, unlike fusion, you can still move your spine)
- Lower risk of infection
- Less blood loss
- Can be performed as an outpatient procedure (inpatient may be recommended)
What Are Interspinous Devices?
There are several types of process devices. Some of these devices were used in spinal fusion surgeries and are now used as standalone devices. The coflex device is a single-piece titanium implant that goes in the back of your spine. It is an excellent option for decompression in individuals needing Anterior Scoliosis Correction (ASC) and is also useful for treating spinal stenosis.
Whereas early versions of spinal hardware consisted of screws and rods, interspinous devices now consist of the following combinations of materials:
- Screws and cords
- Screws and flexible rods or inflatable rods
- Screws, cords, and spacers
- Mechanical screws and rods with moving pieces
- Flexible screws and flexible rods
While reading this list of hardware may seem intimidating, it represents a vast improvement over devices available just a few decades ago. This improves your recovery time frame and overall functionality following the surgery.
Risks Related to Lumbar Posterior Interspinous Process Device Placement
Although this surgery does not require cutting through muscles or removing bone, you may still face the following risks:
- The device can move out of place
- For those with osteoporosis, bone can settle around the device
- When the implant is placed, the spinous process may fracture
- The device may not provide enough pain relief, leading to additional surgery
Who is NOT a Good Candidate for this Surgery?
Some patients are not good candidates for lumbar posterior interspinous process device placement, including those with the following conditions:
- Bowel or bladder dysfunction, which sometimes occurs because the nerve root in your lower back is compressed. This condition permanently affects movement as well as sensation.
- An infection
- Severe osteoporosis
- Allergy to titanium
What to Expect During Interspinous Process Device Placement Recovery
Recovery from the surgery includes soreness around the surgery site. Dr. Lewis will provide specific instructions regarding your activities following the procedure. In general, avoid bending backward, climbing stairs, lifting heavy objects, and vigorous exercise.
Gentle movement such as walking is encouraged as long as you don’t overdo it. Dr. Lewis may prescribe physical therapy to help you get your strength back. This typically consists of gentle stretching exercises, which speed up the recovery process.
Contact the Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic to learn more about interspinous process device placement and other spinal procedures that may alleviate your pain and discomfort. Call us at (601) 366-1011 today to schedule a consultation. We’ll find a solution that works for you.