Americans are no strangers to lower back pain, which is the second-leading cause of disability in the United States. While there are many roads that lead to lower back pain, we’re going to focus on just one here — lumbar spinal stenosis.
As pain management specialists, our team here at Bux Pain Management, under the direction of board-certified anesthesiologist Dr. Anjum Bux, understands the enormous impact that a problem like lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) can have on your life.
While there may be no cure for this degenerative condition, we offer a wide range of treatment options for LSS, and we’re confident that we can find a solution that will remedy your pain and restore your mobility.
A conservative approach
As with any musculoskeletal problem, we prefer to take a conservative approach to start, which is especially true of LSS. Stenosis is a narrowing of your spinal canal, which usually develops gradually. In fact, most people are unaware of the brewing problem until the narrowing begins to press against sensitive nerve roots along the spine.
This compression can lead to:
- Pain in your lower back (especially with certain movements)
- Pain that travels down the back of your leg especially while walking
- Numbness and tingling in your legs
- Loss of sensation in your lower extremities
- Weakness that can cause your foot to “drop”
- Sexual dysfunction
- Difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time
These symptoms vary greatly, depending on how far along the stenosis has advanced.
If you’re experiencing mild-to-moderate symptoms, the first treatment options we recommend are:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- Anti-inflammatory steroid injections
- Epidural injections
- MILD or Vertiflex
These medications and treatments are designed to put an end to the pain, at which point you can engage in physical therapy, which goes a long way toward preventing further problems.
Getting more aggressive
If your LSS is fairly advanced and you’re not finding relief with more conservative options, we recommend one of two minimally invasive procedures:
mild® (minimally invasive lumbar decompression)
To address the narrowing in your spinal canal, Dr. Bux makes a very small incision in your lower back, through which he’s able to remove excess bone and ligament using special tools. To guide his work, he uses fluoroscopy, or real-time X-ray imaging.
We perform this procedure in about an hour and you’re free to return home afterward with no downtime.
During the FDA-approved Vertiflex procedure, Dr. Blux places an implant, which acts as a spacer, between your vertebrae to open up the space and relieve the pressure against your nerves. We perform the Vertiflex procedure on an outpatient basis, which means you’re free to return home afterward.
Whether you’re just starting to feel symptoms of LSS or you’re experiencing life-altering side effects, we want to assure you that relief is possible. To determine which approach is best for your lumbar spinal stenosis, your first step is to schedule an appointment at one of our three locations in Lexington, Cynthiana, and Danville, Kentucky.