PPOA Offers New Spinal Stenosis Treatment

spinal stenosis treatment

Vertiflex procedure is minimally invasive and reversible

A new spinal stenosis treatment is allowing people to walk without pain for the first time in years – and without relying on opioids. Physician Partners of America now offers this minimally invasive procedure, known as the Superion Indirect Compression System, at its Texas Pain Relief Group and Florida Pain Relief Group locations.

This spinal stenosis treatment has even helped some patients leave their wheelchairs behind. That’s what recently happened for a patient of Christopher Creighton, M.D., Physician Partners of America’s pain management specialist in Richardson, Texas.  “It was truly remarkable,” Dr. Creighton says. “He came in in a wheelchair and walked out of the surgery center 100 percent pain-free.” Another patient who had hobbled for years had the same result.

Dr. Creighton calls the unique system “remarkable. I’ve never seen anything like it in my 26 years in practice.”

How does this spinal implant work?

Manufactured by Vertiflex, it is a one-inch titanium implant that slightly spreads the vertebrae, relieving pinched nerves. The implant “decompresses,” or widens, the spot that is compressing the nerve.  Once it is in place, the surgeon releases two “arms” on either side of the device to keep it secure.

The procedure takes about 30 minutes, causes little bleeding, and does not involve removal of bones or tissue. It is also completely reversible if the patient chooses a different procedure later on.

What is spinal stenosis?

Most often seen with age and wear and tear, stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal. It is usually associated with the lumbar, or lower, spine. The narrowing process squeezes on nerve roots that exit the spine, causing pain.

Spinal stenosis symptoms

The most common way to tell if a patient needs lumbar spinal stenosis treatment is when bending over feels better than standing straight. The bending motion opens up the space between the vertebrae, temporarily relieving the nerve compression.

What is spinal decompression?

Since it’s not comfortable to live life bent over, decompression surgery might be an answer. “Surgery,” in the case of Physician Partners of America, is always minimally invasive. That means an incisions that is one inch or less. While there are several ways to treat painful back conditions, Vertiflex shows much promise.

“It’s much faster to perform, it has less operative risk, and the results are immediate,” Dr. Creighton says.

Vertiflex procedure – an alternative to spinal fusion

This decompression device can also help people whose spines have become unstable from disc degeneration. This process releases proteins in spinal fluid, which can irritate sciatic nerves. A traditional treatment is spinal fusion, in which two or more vertebrae are permanently joined together with hardware into a single structure. The goal is to stop movement between the two bones and prevent back pain.

Fusion usually has a three- to six-month recovery time. Compare that with the days of weeks of recovery after a Vertiflex implant.

Patients in a clinical trial reported 73 percent improvement in back function after two years and 81 percent improvement after five years. Overall patient satisfaction with the implant stood at 90 percent after five years.

Ask your PPOA physician about the Vertiflex procedure as a disc degeneration and spinal stenosis treatment.