Spine Spacers

The Sprintz Center -  - Pain Management

The Sprintz Center

Pain Management located in Shenandoah, TX

If your chronic low back pain results from spinal stenosis, you owe it to yourself to learn about spine spacers. At The Sprintz Center, Kenneth Wu, MD, Thomas White, MD, and Yoann Millet, MD, specialize in implanting spine spacers that gently separate the vertebrae and decompress your pinched spinal nerves. You only need a minimally invasive procedure to insert the spine spacers; then, you can look forward to long-lasting pain relief. To learn more, call the office in Shenandoah, Texas, or schedule an appointment online today.

Spine Spacers Q & A

What is lumbar spinal stenosis?

Lumbar spinal stenosis occurs in your lower back when the space inside the spinal canal narrows and pinches the spinal nerves. The narrowing occurs due to conditions like herniated discs, thickened ligaments, degenerative disc disease, and bone spurs.

The pinched (compressed) nerves cause lower back pain. You may also experience pain that radiates down your leg, along with tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness in the affected leg.

What are spine spacers?

A spine spacer, also called an interspinous process spacer, refers to an advanced medical device that treats lumbar spinal stenosis by decompressing the spinal nerves.

When conservative treatments such as changing your activities, medication, and physical therapy can’t give you the pain relief you need, a spine spacer is an effective alternative to surgery. 

You only need a minimally invasive procedure to implant a spine spacer, so you go home the same day.

How do spine spacers work?

The spine spacer used by the team at The Sprintz Center, called the Superion™ Indirect Decompression System, makes more room for the nerves by gently separating the two adjacent vertebrae on each side of the damaged nerve.

The spacer goes between the spinous processes of the two vertebrae. The spinous processes are the small bones that stick out from the backside of each vertebra.

Once your provider inserts the spacer, two wing-like pieces expand from the device. These pieces fit around the spinous processes, pushing the two vertebrae apart and securing the spine spacer in place.

What happens when spine spacers are implanted?

After you receive a sedative and local anesthetic, The Sprintz Center team makes a small incision and inserts a tubular retractor. The retractor separates the muscles, so your provider doesn’t need to cut the muscle fibers.

They use a specialized tool to insert the spine spacer through the tube and between the two vertebrae. After they finish your procedure, you stay on-site for a short time. 

Before you go home, The Sprintz Center team gives you instructions about caring for the incision and activity limitations. You need to avoid strenuous activities for about six weeks while your body heals.

If you have lower back pain caused by spinal stenosis, call The Sprintz Center or schedule an appointment online to learn more about spine spacers.