Low back pain has many causes, from injuries to osteoarthritis. Spinal stenosis is one of the many causes of low back pain. It happens when the canal that houses the spinal cord narrows, putting pressure on the surrounding nerves.
Spinal stenosis ranges from mild to severe, causing pain, tingling, and numbness in the lower back and legs. Some people get relief from conservative measures, while others continue to suffer and consider invasive surgery – but what if there's another option?
At Delmarva Pain and Spine Center, Dr. Schachi Patel and her team offer the cutting-edge Superion™ Indirect Decompression System to relieve moderate spinal stenosis.
Dr. Patel is an experienced pain management specialist, providing her patients with the latest technology and advances in pain medicine for long-term relief.
The facts on spinal stenosis
Spinal stenosis is a sometimes debilitating condition that leads to painful symptoms and disability in some people. Spinal stenosis happens when the spinal canal that houses the spinal cord narrows, causing inflammation and compression of the spinal nerves.
Lumbar spinal stenosis happens when the spinal canal narrows in the lower spine, causing symptoms such as:
- Low back pain
- Pain that worsens when standing
- Relief of pain when bending forward
- Pain in the buttocks or down the leg
- Heaviness or cramping in the legs
- Tingling or numbness in the legs or feet
Spinal stenosis typically happens slowly over months to years – with the symptoms worsening as the condition progresses. The good news is there are plenty of treatments available, including:
- Heat or ice therapy
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
- Oral medications
Conservative measures are usually enough to manage mild spinal stenosis. Still, they might not successfully relieve moderate to severe cases of the condition. You may require surgery for severe symptoms unless you're a candidate for the Superion procedure.
What is the Superion procedure?
For those living with moderate to severe cases of spinal stenosis, the Superion procedure is a great option that provides long-term relief without the need for invasive surgical techniques.
If you're dealing with pain, numbness, or tingling in the legs or back from spinal stenosis, you're a candidate for the Superion procedure.
The Superion device is an implantable piece of titanium that essentially pushes the spinous process of the vertebrae apart, allowing space for compressed nerves. The result is long-term relief from nerve pain.
One of the most significant advantages of the Superion procedure is that it's minimally invasive and doesn't require anesthesia or long recovery times. Dr. Patel performs the procedure through a small cannula in your spine.
During the procedure, Dr. Patel numbs the area with an anesthetic and uses fluoroscopy to find the correct spine location. She then inserts a cannula that contains the Superion device and inserts it in between the spinous process of the affected vertebrae.
The procedure removes bone or other tissues; you can go home the same day.
Preparing for the Superion implant
If the Superion procedure is correct, you may wonder how to prepare. The good news is there's not a lot of preparation because of its minimally invasive nature. However, you should undergo at least six months of conservative treatment without relief before the procedure.
Before she okays you for the Superion procedure, Dr. Patel obtains imaging to ensure you don't have scoliosis or spondylolisthesis, both of which are contraindications for the procedure.
Learn as much as you can about the Superion procedure to know what to expect on the day of the implant. Ask Dr. Patel any questions you have before the procedure so you're fully prepared.
Although the procedure isn't invasive, eating a healthy diet and maintaining weight before surgery is good. A healthy diet helps the body heal properly after the spacer insertion.
Plan to wear comfortable clothing to your appointment, and have someone scheduled to come with you to drive you home. On the day of the procedure, you should avoid eating anything for six hours beforehand.
Because the Superion procedure is minimally invasive and doesn't require anesthesia or significant downtime, there's not much else you need to do except get ready to enjoy life without the discomfort of spinal stenosis.
To find out if the Superion procedure can benefit you, don't hesitate to call our office in Newark, Delaware, today at 302-355-0900 or request a consultation on the website.