The Vertiflex Superion® interspinous spacer is a system designed to relieve low back pain that radiates or spreads to the legs by restoring the normal space between the vertebrae.
WHO SHOULD CONSIDER VERTIFLEX?
The Vertiflex procedure is a solution for back pain patients with lumbar spinal stenosis when physical or chiropractic therapies, medications, or injections have failed. It is also a reasonable option for those who may not be good candidates for more invasive spine surgery. The Vertiflex system can restore the disc space on multiple levels, while still preserving the option for future surgery if necessary.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE LIKE?
The Vertiflex procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. While under conscious sedation or general anesthesia, the surgeon will first numb the affected area with local anesthesia. A tiny, ½ inch incision is made at the site of the insertion. Guided using real-time x-ray, a small tube about the size of a dime, also called a dilator, is used to move the surrounding tissue out of the way, instead of cutting through it. The dilator gives the doctor a clear path to place the implant between the vertebrae.
The wings of the implant are adjusted open to slowly spread the vertebrae apart, returning them to a more natural, pain-free position. The implant is then secured in place, the incision is closed usually with a single suture.
The entire procedure takes about twenty to thirty minutes, depending on the number of implants being inserted (up to two at a time). By moving tissue around rather than cutting it, patients experience a much easier healing process compared to open spine surgery.
After the procedure, it is not unusual to experience a significant reduction in pain within the first few days. It typically takes six weeks to heal from the surgery. Most patients can travel and engage in light activity such as walking as soon as they can do so comfortably. Patients will then begin physical therapy. Patients who continue to exercise regularly with a focus on improving their core strength achieve the best long-term results.