Low Back With Leg Pain
With an increasing number of patients diagnosed with chronic low back pain in the United States, our specialists at Pain Specialty Group strive to integrate innovative and leading edge treatments for patients in New Hampshire’s Seacoast and Maine.
Either you or somebody you know is suffering with chronic low back and leg pain, which you may have been told is due to spinal stenosis. If this is the case, you may be wondering what treatment options are available and are hesitant to pursue corrective traditional open back surgery. One exciting and minimally invasive option that has become available with excellent outcomes, which also can fill the gap between conservative care and more invasive open back surgery, is Vertiflex’s Superion.
What is Vertiflex's Superion?
To shed light on the advantages of Vertiflex, it is best to first understand lumbar spinal stenosis. The lumbar spine (lower back) consists of five vertebrae which are located between the bottom of the ribs and the upper pelvis. Lumbar stenosis describes a condition when the spinal canal, where the spinal cord lies inside the vertebrae, becomes narrowed, compressing the nerves that pass through this area as they travel into the legs. Think of it as once full sized straw that is now squished in many places. You may hear more technical explanations of this as central canal stenosis, lateral recess stenosis, and/or neural foraminal stenosis. This stenosis may result in pain, numbness, cramping, or stiffness in the leg, buttock, or groin or simply pain in the low back with or without radiation. These symptoms can make walking or standing quite difficult, but patients often report relief when seated or bending forward. Sometimes, a classical sign to identify spinal stenosis is when someone uses and walks with leaning forward on a shopping cart (aka shopping cart sign).
Prior to Vertiflex
Prior to Vertiflex becoming available, patients with these symptoms were typically treated by either conservative therapeutic options, such as physical therapy and epidural injections, or by the significant tissue disruptive measures such as invasive open back surgery. In the past, open back surgical correction has been the only definitive option to increase the space around the spinal cord and nerves, which involves permanently and irreversibly changing the natural anatomy of the spine through the removal of bone, known as the lamina, and other surrounding tissue.
How It Works
With Vertiflex, patients can now receive similar levels of pain relief with a small titanium spacer to indirectly decompress the posterior spine. The spacer, known as Superion, is inserted into the posterior spinal column through a small device, which reduces tissue damage and blood loss and speeds time to recovery for patients. This procedure can be performed in an outpatient surgical center and patients can leave shortly after the procedure to go home. Patients no longer have to worry about destabilization of the spine, as the natural anatomy is maintained, making this treatment completely reversible if the spacer ever needs to be removed in the future.
We're Here To Help
At Pain Specialty Group, Dr. Anh Ngo and Dr. Manuel Sanchez are proud to offer Vertiflex to our patients, utilizing society’s most current and innovative technologies for pain relief. If you are living near the New Hampshire Seacoast and Maine and are suffering with chronic low back with or without leg pain caused by spinal stenosis, please book an appointment and visit us at Pain Specialty Group. We are happy to discuss whether Vertiflex or any other options are the right treatments for you.