Everything You Need to Know About Vertiflex

If you’re living with lumbar spinal stenosis, daily routines and activities can be difficult, and even unbearable. The pain, numbness, and weakness interrupts the things you love to do and leaves you feeling drained. 

There are several treatments for lumbar spinal stenosis, ranging from nonsurgical treatments — like pain medications, anti-inflammatory medications, epidural injections, and physical therapy — to varying surgical treatments.

But at Houston Pain Specialists, board-certified pain management specialist Hui Kang, MD, recommends an innovative, minimally invasive procedure for lumbar spinal stenosis called the Vertiflex procedure. In this blog, we go over everything you need to know about Vertiflex.

How Vertiflex works

Major surgery comes with a laundry list of risks and complications and is accompanied by recovery times that can last months. If pain management regimens such as physical therapy and medication are no longer working for you, there is a middle ground.

Vertiflex is an outpatient procedure done with a local anesthetic and a tiny incision. Rather than cutting through the surrounding tissue, we use a small tube, also known as a dilator, to move the tissue and create a path for placing a small, titanium alloy implant called Superion

The Superion implant goes between two bony projections off the back of each vertebrae, called spinous processes. This limits extension and preserves spinal motion while taking the pressure off of your nerves and spinal cord. 

Each person’s case is unique, so there are multiple sizes of the Superion implant.

The effects of Vertiflex

The procedure takes 20-30 minutes, depending on if you need one or two implants. Many of our patients feel relief immediately afterward. Full recovery is typically six weeks, but you may engage in light activity as soon as you feel comfortable doing so. 

The effects of Vertiflex are long-term, with 90% of patients reporting satisfaction with the procedure five years later.

The risks

Though the Vertiflex procedure is considered to be safe and effective, there are risks. In rare cases, the Superion implant could become dislodged or the spinous processes of your vertebrae could fracture when the implant is placed. 

It’s also possible that the implant may not completely relieve your pain, but many of our patients have gotten relief from pain with the Vertiflex procedure.

If you want lumbar spinal stenosis to be a thing of the past, our experienced team at Houston Pain Specialists is here to help relieve your pain and get you back to what you love doing. Give us a call to schedule an appointment at our Houston, Texas, office.

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