MILD® Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression
Minimally invasive lumbar decompression, commonly referred to as the MILD® procedure is performed to treat low back and leg pain caused by spinal stenosis, a gradual narrowing of the spinal canal—the space where the nerves pass through. See our page on Spinal Stenosis:
While spinal stenosis can be caused by many factors, one common cause is enlargement of the ligament along the back portion of the spinal canal called the ligamentum flavum. When this ligament enlarges, it can press or pinch the spinal cord and nerves that travel through the spine causing a dull back pain that spreads down the buttocks and into the legs.
Unlike steroid injects or other medications, the MILD procedure addresses the root problem of the nerve pain, and in most cases gives immediate, long lasting results. Since MILD is minimally invasive, it also has a very short recovery times, and is a great choice for elderly patients with other medical complications.
Positive Aspects of MILD®
- Outpatient surgery
- Short recovery time
- Minimally invasive
- Targets root source of pain
- Long Lasting effects
How the Procedure Works
At the beginning of the procedure, patients are typically given a mild sedative to help them relax and stay still during the procedure. The patient lies face down and a local anesthetic is administered to numb the lower back. Using image guidance (fluoroscopy—like a video x-ray machine) a needle is guided through the space between the vertebra joints to the spinal canal. Contrast dye is injected into the space, showing a clear view of the compression on the fluoroscope. Next, a small incision is made in your skin, and the doctor carefully inserts a hollow tube called a portal to the compressed spinal area. A small instrument is guided through the portal. This instrument has a movable mandible that can cut away at the excess tissue of the ligament. Using the fluoroscope, the doctor manipulates it via a trigger device until he sees decompression of the affected area.
MILD Procedure Patient Interview with Dr. Linehan
Dr. Linehan interviews James, who tells his experience with the MILD procedure that was administered 10 days prior by Dr. Carter Battista.
When the procedure is done the instruments are removed and the incision is covered with a small bandage. The patient is monitored for a brief time, and then allowed to go home. Most patients resume their normal activity within 24 hours without any restrictions.
Current studies show the mild procedure can be durable over 5 years and may allow elderly patients with symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis to avoid lumbar decompression surgery while providing significant symptomatic relief.
Precision Pain Care uses strategies, methods and technology designed to break the cycle of pain and improve a patient’s quality of life.
- Celiac Plexus Block
- Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) stimulation
- Endoscopic Discectomy
- Endoscopic Rhizotomy
- Epidural Steroid Injections
- Facet Injections and Medial Branch Blocks
- Joint Injections
- MILD Lumbar Decompression
- Minuteman Spinal Fusion Procedure
- Radiofrequency Ablation
- Spinal Cord Stimulation
- Sympathetic Blocks
Movie presentations showing non-invasive pain reducing procedures used by Dr. Linehan to treat various painful conditions.