Vertos Medical Blog

ASPN Abstract: Use of Epidurogram is Not Necessary for Safe, Minimally Invasive Direct Lumbar Decompression

Author— Jason E. Pope, MD Published July 22, 2021

The objective of the study “Use of Epidurogram is Not Necessary for Safe, Minimally Invasive Direct Lumbar Decompression” was to investigate the safety of using osteal landmarks vs an epidurogram to establish a visual safety barrier prior to decompression with the mild® Procedure. A retrospective data analysis was performed on 147 patients that compared those receiving an epidurogram with performance of the mild® Procedure versus those that did not. View the abstract poster below to learn more about the outcomes.

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Watch Dr. Jason Pope present his abstract from the American Society of Pain and Neuroscience’s (ASPN) Third Annual Conference where he shares why the use of an epidurogram is not necessary for safe decompression with the mild® Procedure.

Eager to further understand the mild® Procedure and how it can put your lumbar spinal stenosis patients on the path to long-term relief? Contact Vertos Medical and discover why leading interventionalists offer mild® in their practice.

This study was recently published in the Journal of Pain Research, click here to view.

Jason Pope, MD (00:00)

Well, welcome everyone. My name is Dr. Jason Pope. I have a practice in Northern California serving Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino counties and I’m here today to talk a little bit about an innovative strategy that we had in performing the mild® Procedure. And the question that we were trying to answer with this was essentially, “Is the epidurogram necessary when executing the mild® Procedure on patients, whether you’re going to perform a single level or a multilevel strategy?” And so we retrospectively looked at 147 patients. So we can see here the female to male breakdown along with a median age of around 77. And we looked at patients that either got the epidurogram with performance of the mild® [Procedure] versus those that did not. And we did so equitably across the patient population that we were serving. And as we can see with a stenotic level, clearly the most common areas that were performed were at L3-4 and L4-5 and that’s no surprise. And then we looked at patients whether they were done as a single level or a multilevel. And we can see here that the breakdown of these patients where 54 patients received contrast, 42 non-contrast, in a single level. And the most common level that was performed was at L4-5. But what was also very interesting was in this retrospective review, again, of about 147 patients, about 80% of them had the procedure done bilaterally if it was at a single level. And interestingly enough, when we did a multilevel mild®, and in this cohort, it represented at least two levels, the most common level that was the index level of where it was treated was at L3-4 and bilaterally, this was performed nearly 50% of the time. So when people do multiple levels of [the] mild® Procedure, the unilateral reality based on symptoms changes a little bit as compared to if you were doing a single level.

(02:27) And again, this was done over a total cohort of 147 patients. And the way that this came about and again, we highlighted the fact that when we looked at the use of epidurogram in managing patients with spinal stenosis symptomatically, with the mild® Procedure, it wasn’t clear that it really offered an increase in safety. And it wasn’t clear that it highlighted when the decompression was completed because epidural flow after decompression doesn’t necessarily increase after the ligament is trimmed or resected. So we looked at trying to simplify the procedure, and this was done just by using the osteal landmarks. And we can see the facet line and the laminar line in the middle section of the abstract presentation here. And I can say with confidence, using osteal landmarks alone as compared to the epidurogram, and we use the midline incision, the refined Streamlined Technique that you all have come to know and love, that in performing this, there were zero complications, as defined as problems with infection, nerve injury, allergy to contrast, which is something that can happen, but clearly in this cohort, it did not.

And so there were zero complications performing either one level or multilevel [mild®], either unilaterally or bilaterally with contrast or without contrast. So this underscores the importance and the strategy that if one chooses or elects to not use the epidurogram in performance of the mild® [Procedure] you can do so safely, based on this patient cohort. So again, appreciate your time. I want to also thank my co-authors associated with this project, Dr. Timothy Deer and Dr. Steven Falowski. And I want to also thank the Vertos team for helping with the assembly of the abstract. So with that, thank you.

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