Vertos Medical Blog

Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression (mild®) Procedure: What Is It and Is It Right for Me?

Published April 14, 2021

Are you one of over two million patients suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) annually nationwide? If so, you’re likely experiencing pain or numbness in your lower back when standing upright; pain, numbness, heaviness or tingling in your upper legs or buttocks when walking and pain when sleeping. The pain can become more common the older you get. In fact, lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is prevalent in about 20% of patients ages 60+ nationwide. Temporary relief is often found when sitting or bending forward, or by curling into a fetal position when lying down.

There are, however, other ways to relieve this pain and get back to what matters to you most! If your current treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) isn’t providing you adequate relief, consider minimally invasive lumbar decompression (mild®) as your next step.

What does minimally invasive lumbar decompression (mild®) mean?

Minimally invasive lumbar decompression is an outpatient procedure that relieves pressure on the spine. Like a drinking straw with a kink in it, the spinal canal can narrow and compress the spinal canal nerves in the lower back. To restore space in the spinal canal and reduce the compression of the nerves, a mild® Doctor uses an imaging machine and specialized tools to remove small pieces of bone and thickened ligament.

What is the difference between mild® and my current pain management care?

Unlike most pain management treatments that are frequently repeated, minimally invasive lumbar decompression is generally a one-time procedure that may provide lasting relief for leg and back pain associated with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS). The first course of action from your doctor may include conservative treatments such as pain medication, physical therapy or chiropractic care. While their safety profiles are also strong, these treatments are sometimes temporary and aren’t always effective for everyone.

Another course of action your doctor may recommend is an epidural steroid injection (ESI). These injections typically bring temporary relief, but do not address the root cause of lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS). Up to 85% of spinal canal narrowing is caused by the buildup and thickening of ligament that compresses the nerve. Effective treatment requires restoring space by thinning the ligament. Therefore, repetitive ESIs may just mask the pain in the short-term and only delay patient care.

Minimally invasive lumbar decompression, on the other hand, reduces pressure on the spinal nerves. It has a safety profile similar to epidural steroid injections (ESIs), but with lasting results. In fact, mild® demonstrated excellent long-term durability with significant improvements in both pain and mobility through two years.

What is the difference between minimally invasive lumbar decompression (mild®) and traditional back surgery?

The mild® Procedure is different from traditional back surgery because it is an outpatient procedure that does not require general anesthesia, implants, stitches, steroids or opioids. Typically completed in less than an hour, mild® can be performed through a single, tiny incision smaller than the size of a baby aspirin (5.1 mm) using only local anesthetic and light sedation and leaves no implants behind. After the mild® Procedure, patients are typically able to resume normal activity within 24 hours with no restrictions, which is not the case with traditional back surgery.Unlike other more invasive treatments, such as spacer implants, fusion or traditional back surgery, mild® doesn’t eliminate future treatment options or other therapies for back pain. If symptoms persist or evolve, both conservative and more invasive therapies remain available.

Does the minimally invasive lumbar decompression (mild®) Procedure work?

mild® has helped thousands of patients achieve lasting relief from back pain. In a one-year study performed at the Cleveland Clinic, after the mild® Procedure, patients were able to increase their standing time from eight minutes to 56 minutes with less pain and their average walking distance from 246 feet (walking to the mailbox) to 3,956 feet (walking around the mall). Clinical data from a MiDAS ENCORE 2-Year Study finds mild® provided patients with lasting pain relief and increased mobility.

With over 30,000 lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) treated and a complication rate of less than 0.1%, mild® is a minimally invasive procedure that may be able to provide you with lasting relief. Complete a short survey to determine if minimally invasive lumbar decompression may be an effective treatment option. Print or save your results and discuss with a mild® Doctor.

To learn more about this condition or diagnosis, please consult an interventional pain doctor or use our interactive Find a mild® Doctor tool to locate a mild® Doctor near you.

Disclaimer – This is not a replacement for a medical diagnosis, a recommendation for treatment or medical advice. Please consult a doctor to determine personal health issues and treatment recommendations.

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