Vertos Medical Blog

How Do You Describe the mild® Procedure to Your Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Patients?

Published January 31, 2022

mild® is often referred to as a “simple little procedure” that can make a major impact on the quality of life and mobility for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) patients. Minimally invasive lumbar decompression (mild®) removes the problem and leaves nothing behind—no implants, no stitches—allowing patients to stand longer and walk farther with less pain. A short, outpatient procedure, it is performed through a single 5.1mm incision in the patient’s lower back, addressing a major root cause of lumbar spinal stenosis by removing excess ligament tissue. Patients typically resume normal activity within 24 hours with no restrictions.

So, how do practices describe this “simple little procedure” to their patients? We like to say the mild® Procedure is similar to “removing a kink in a drinking straw,” reducing the compression on the nerves in the lower back to restore mobility and relieve pain.

Photos showing before and after images of a patient treated with the mild® Procedure and suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis

We asked a group of mild® physicians how they describe the mild® Procedure and its big, life-changing potential to their patients and referring physicians. We heard a lot of fun analogies—here are a few of our favorites.

ESI is like

Illustration of tape dispenser

mild® is like

illustration of glue bottle

Dr. Peter Pryzbylkowski; Linwood, NJ

I describe mild® to my patients as a “quality-of-life procedure.”

I walk them through my algorithm and I say, “Listen: I can put a temporary Band-Aid [solution] on this for you with an epidural steroid injection (ESI), or I have a tool in my toolkit that could hopefully fix this for you where it’s not just a Band-Aid. It really improves your quality of life.”

Once you frame it this way for patients—as an epidural being a Band-Aid, with mild® being more of a definitive procedure—you have a captive audience that typically wants to go ahead and get a percutaneous decompression.


For patients who know cardiology, ESI is like

illustration of a pill bottle

mild® is like

illustration of a stent

Dr. Brian Durkin; Port Jefferson, NY

Our patients are generally familiar with cardiology procedures. So, I tell them lumbar spinal stenosis treatment options are similar to the options available for patients with coronary artery stenosis. You can either treat them with meds to improve blood flow or put in a stent to open it up more permanently. The mild® Procedure restores space around the spinal cord, just like a stent restores space in your blood vessels.


ESI is like

illustration of a clogged drain

mild® is like

illustration of an unclogged drain

Dr. Brian J. Goentzel; Wichita, KS

I tell patients: “Your spinal canal is kind of like your sink when it gets clogged. If your sink is really clogged, you can pour Drano down it all you want. But that’s a temporary fix, and it doesn’t work long-term. At some point, you’ve got to get in and unclog the drain.”


ESI is like

illustration of a room cluttered with furniture

mild® is like

illustration of a room with an appropriate amount of furniture

Dr. Erin Chaney; Jacksonville, NC

I describe how mild® works like fixing a room that is overcrowded with furniture. I tell them:

“Imagine a room full of tables and chairs, and you just can’t move around. What I am going to do today is just take a couple of chairs out to make some more space, so your anatomical structures can move around easily.”


LSS is like

illustration of too many people in an elevator

mild® is like

illustration of a normal amount of people in an elevator

Dr. Dawood Sayed; Kansas City, KS

“When I describe what stenosis/LSS does to a patient’s spinal canal, I compare it to having too many people in an elevator. What we do with mild® is open the door and let a few people out so that the folks remaining have more room to move freely for the ride.”


How do you describe mild® to your patients? If you have an effective analogy you use to talk about the benefits of mild® or its approach, we’d love to hear about it. Email us today. If you need additional patient resources, please contact your Vertos representative.

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