5-Year Study Demonstrates 88% of mild® Patients Avoided Surgical Decompression for at Least 5 Years While Experiencing Significant Symptom Relief
May 17, 2021
Most Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression (mild®) providers are very familiar with the 1-year study conducted by Nagy Mekhail, MD, PhD who, along with a team of investigators from the Department of Pain Management at the Cleveland Clinic, examined the real-world benefit of the mild® Procedure: functional improvement. The 1-year outcomes demonstrated significant functional improvement for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) patients in both walking distance and standing time, with continuous mean improvement at each follow-up point. The study results are remarkable, as can be viewed in the figure below.
Patients clearly benefited from this type of treatment with a notable increase in function; this shows the effect the mild® Procedure had on patients who were previously unable to complete simple, everyday tasks beforehand. Now they are able to get out and enjoy life without having to sit down and rest as frequently as they did before the mild® Procedure.
New Study Demonstrates 5-Year, Long-Term Durability
The investigators at the Cleveland Clinic recently published an additional independent, retrospective cohort study which further explores the long-term durability of mild® at 5 years. They followed LSS patients receiving the mild® Procedure at the Cleveland Clinic between 2010 and 2015.
The recently published paper, The Durability of Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression Procedure in Patients with Symptomatic Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: Long Term Follow-Up, explores how many patients were able to avoid surgical decompression after the mild® Procedure over a five-year period. Changes in pain level using the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) and opioid medication utilization using Morphine Milligram Equivalent (MME) dose per day from baseline to 3-, 6-, and 12-months post-mild® Procedure were also collected, along with post-procedure complications.
mild® is a minimally invasive decompression procedure that addresses a major root cause of patients’ stenosis without having to undergo an invasive open surgery or leave implants behind. It has the safety profile equivalent to an epidural steroid injection (ESI), but with lasting results and is often compatible for patients with existing risk factors that, traditionally, may not be candidates for open surgery. According to the study, the mild® Procedure significantly decreased the incidence of surgical decompression at the same treatment level(s) as mild® intervention during five-year follow-up. Nine out of 75 patients required lumbar surgical decompression at the same level during the follow-up period, making the annual incidence of same-level lumbar-decompression surgery just 2.4%. Subjects experienced statistically significant pain relief and reduction of opioid medications utilization at 3, 6, and 12 months compared to baseline. There were no major complications reported.
Here are the 3 key takeaways from the 5-year study, and a link to access the full peer-reviewed articles:
88% of patients avoided surgical decompression for at least 5 years. “The durability of mild® over 5 years may allow elderly patients with symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis to avoid lumbar decompression surgery while providing significant symptomatic relief.”
No implants. “The mild® Procedure allows debulking of the hypertrophic ligamentum flavum without interfering with the integrity of the bony spine, and does not require implants.”
No need to delay patient care. “Further, because the mild® procedure demonstrated durability up to 5 years, it might also be speculated with caution, that appropriate patients should be encouraged to undergo the mild® procedure as early as needed, rather than waiting until these patients are at an advanced age.”
Acknowledgments: A special thank you to the investigator and author team from the Evidence-Based Pain Management Research Group at the Cleveland Clinic: Nagy Mekhail, MD, PhD; Shrif Costandi, MD; George Nageeb, BS; Catherine Ekladios, MD; Ogena Saied, MS. Vertos Medical and the mild® patients across the country who benefit from this procedure are grateful for your care and attention in advancing the data around the safety, functional improvement, and long-term durability of mild®.
Benyamin RM, Staats PS, MiDAS ENCORE Investigators. mild® is an effective treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication: MiDAS ENCORE Randomized Controlled Trial. Pain Physician. 2016;19(4):229-242.
Mekhail N, Costandi S, Abraham B, Samuel SW. Functional and patient-reported outcomes in symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis following percutaneous decompression. Pain Pract. 2012;12(6):417-425. doi:10.1111/j.1533-2500.2012.00565.x.
2012 data from Health Market Sciences report for Vertos Medical 2013.
Data on file with Vertos Medical.
Staats PS, Chafin TB, Golvac S, et al. Long-term safety and efficacy of minimally invasive lumbar decompression procedure for the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication: 2-year results of MiDAS ENCORE. Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2018;43:789-794. doi:10.1097/AAP.0000000000000868.
Based on mild® Procedure data collected in all clinical studies. Major complications are defined as dural tear and blood loss requiring transfusion.
MiDAS ENCORE responder data. On file with Vertos Medical.
Jain S, Deer TR, Sayed D, et al. Minimally invasive lumbar decompression: a review of indications, techniques, efficacy and safety. Pain Manag. 2020;10(5). https://doi.org/10.2217/pmt-2020-0037. Accessed June 1, 2020.
Deer TR, Grider JS, Pope JE, et al. The MIST Guidelines: the Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Consensus Group guidelines for minimally invasive spine treatment. Pain Pract. 2019;19(3)250-274. doi:10.1111/papr.12744.
Hansson T, Suzuki N, Hebelka H, Gaulitz A. The narrowing of the lumbar spinal canal during loaded MRI: the effects of the disc and ligamentum flavum. Eur Spine J. 2009;18(5):679-686. doi:10.1007/s00586-009-0919-7.
Treatment options shown are commonly offered once conservative therapies (e.g., physical therapy, pain medications, chiropractic) are not providing adequate relief. This is not intended to be a complete list of all treatments available. Doctors typically recommend treatments based on their safety profile, typically prioritizing low risk/less aggressive procedures before higher risk/more aggressive procedures, but will determine which treatments are appropriate for their patients.
Although the complication rate for the mild® Procedure is low, as with most surgical procedures, serious adverse events, some of which can be fatal, can occur, including heart attack, cardiac arrest (heart stops beating), stroke, and embolism (blood or fat that migrates to the lungs or heart). Other risks include infection and bleeding, spinal cord and nerve injury that can, in rare instances, cause paralysis. This procedure is not for everyone. Physicians should discuss potential risks with patients. For complete information regarding indications for use, warnings, precautions, and methods of use, please reference the devices’Instructions for Use.
Patient stories on this website reflect the results experienced by individuals who have undergone the mild® Procedure. Patients are not compensated for their testimonial. The mild® Procedure is intended to treat lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) caused by ligamentum flavum hypertrophy. Although patients may experience relief from the procedure, individual results may vary. Individuals may have symptoms persist or evolve or other conditions that require ongoing medication or additional treatments. Please consult with your doctor to determine if this procedure is right for you.
Reimbursement, especially coding, is dynamic and changes every year. Laws and regulations involving reimbursement are also complex and change frequently. Providers are responsible for determining medical necessity and reporting the codes that accurately describe the work that is done and the products and procedures that are furnished to patients. For this reason, Vertos Medical strongly recommends that you consult with your payers, your specialty society, or the AMA CPT regarding coding, coverage and payment.
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Hall S, Bartleson JD, Onofrio BM, Baker HL Jr, Okazaki H, O’Duffy JD. Lumbar spinal stenosis. Clinical features, diagnostic procedures, and results of surgical treatment in 68 patients. Ann Intern Med. 1985;103(2):271-275. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-103-2-271.
Kalichman L, Cole R, Kim DH, et al. Spinal stenosis prevalence & association with symptoms: The Framingham Study. Spine J. 2009;9(7):545-550. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2009.03.005.
Fukusaki M, Kobayashi I, Hara T, Sumikawa K. Symptoms of spinal stenosis do not improve after epidural steroid injection. Clin J Pain. 1998;14(2):148-151. doi:10.1097/00002508-199806000-00010.
Mekhail N, Costandi S, Nageeb G, Ekladios C, Saied O. The durability of minimally invasive lumbar decompression procedure in patients with symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis: Long-term follow-up [published online ahead of print, 2021 May 4]. Pain Pract. 2021;10.1111/papr.13020. doi:10.1111/papr.13020
Friedly JL, Comstock BA, Turner JA, et al. Long-Term Effects of Repeated Injections of Local Anesthetic With or Without Corticosteroid for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: A Randomized Trial. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2017;98(8):1499-1507.e2. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2017.02.029
Pope J, Deer TR, Falowski SM. A retrospective, single-center, quantitative analysis of adverse events in patients undergoing spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication using a novel percutaneous direct lumbar decompression strategy. J Pain Res. 2021;14:1909-1913. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S304997
Pryzbylkowski P, Bux A, Chandwani K, et al. Minimally invasive direct decompression for lumbar spinal stenosis: impact of multiple prior epidural steroid injections [published online ahead of print, 2021 Aug 4]. Pain Manag. 2021;10.2217/pmt-2021-0056. doi:10.2217/pmt-2021-0056
Abstract presented at: American Society of Pain and Neuroscience Annual Conference; July 22-25, 2021; Miami Beach, FL.
Mobility Matters: Low Back Pain in America, Harris Poll Survey, 2022. View data and full summary at knowyourbackstory.com.