MILD® stands for minimally invasive lumbar decompression, an outpatient procedure that helps relieve spinal pressure, leading to decreased pain. Lumbar discomfort may be caused when the space within the spinal canal narrows. It usually occurs when standing for long periods or walking long distances.
With smaller incisions, reduced recovery time, and minimum nerve interference, the MILD® procedure offers multiple benefits. This less invasive treatment addresses spinal issues like spinal stenosis, herniated discs, or any other lumbar nerve-related problem.
The procedure involves an incision in the lower back that aims to remove the small pieces of bone and ligaments causing nerve compression. Doing this creates more space in the spinal canal, releasing nerve pressure and reducing pain.
Living with back pain can severely impact your day-to-day life. By choosing Spinal Diagnostics in Oregon, you can trust that our specialized team will help you achieve a healthy spine. Visit our locations in Tualatin and Newberg or schedule an appointment online.
The lumbar spine is made up of the following components:
- The vertebrae are the movable structures that hug each intervertebral disc. They are in charge of providing support and protecting the spinal cord.
- The intervertebral discs add flexibility to the lumbar spine. They absorb shock when jumping or walking.
- The spinal cord refers to the nerves located throughout the spinal canal.
- The spinal nerves branch off the spinal cord and innervate different lower body parts.
The MILD® procedure targets the spinal nerves that may have become compressed due to various conditions. By removing a portion of bone and tissue, the spinal cord has more space, and the nerves in the lumbar area relieve the pressure that causes pain.
People who undergo the MILD® procedure often suffer from the following conditions:
However, if you have undergone lumbar spine treatments during the 12 months before your consultation, including laminectomy, laminotomy, fusion, interspinous process decompression, or MILD, talk with your healthcare provider about other options for your case.
The MILD® procedure offers short and long-term benefits.
The common symptoms associated with nerve compressions, such as numbness, tingling, and lumbar pain, are significantly reduced within a matter of days after the MILD® procedure. As the spine becomes more stable with decreased pressure, mobility range is increased and improved in the long run.
Procedure Pain & Recovery Process
Due to the minimal nerve disruption, the procedure pain and recovery time are reduced to a minimum. Opioids or general anesthesia are unnecessary, reducing complication rates to less than 0.1%.
Restored Quality of Life
MILD® allows you to recover your daily activities and hobbies like exercising, attending recreational activities like concerts, or spending time with loved ones without worrying about lower back and leg pain.
Your healthcare professional will evaluate multiple factors, including your medical history, symptom description, imaging results, and current medication or allergies. This will be performed to know if you are a candidate for the MILD® procedure and identify any factors that could interfere with the treatment.
You will also be given instructions, such as avoiding food and drinks for a few hours before your appointment. It is also recommended that you arrange your transportation home after the procedure.
Once all your concerns about the procedure are clarified, you and your healthcare provider will agree on an appointment date for the procedure.
During your MILD® procedure, your doctor will use the following steps:
- Local anesthesia will be applied to numb the area to be treated. You will remain fully awake and conscious during the procedure.
- An Incision will be made in your lower back using a special needle.
- X-ray guidance will ensure all procedures are done in the precise location of your spine where pain needs to be alleviated.
- Bone and tissue removal will be done using a radiofrequency device, allowing the release of pressure and pain.
- Incision closure will be done by placing a small bandage where the incision was made.
Since MILD® is an outpatient procedure, you will likely be able to return home on the same day of your procedure. As stated before, please arrange for a friend or family member to transport you home since you cannot drive yourself immediately after the procedure.
Although you may return to daily activities like work and school in a few days, complete recovery may take a few weeks. Some of the post-procedure instructions your doctor may ask you to follow to ensure optimal spinal recovery may include the following:
- Avoid intense physical activities during the first couple of weeks.
- Regularly check in with your doctor for follow-ups.
Although extremely rare, the side effects that could appear after MILD® may include:
- Discomfort at the incision
- Temporary numbness
- Allergic reactions
- Spinal nerve damage
MILD® complications are usually infrequent (less than 0.1%). However, some physical and lifestyle factors could increase the risk of developing some complications. These include:
- Spinal deformities like scoliosis or kyphosis
- Previous spinal fractures
- Previous spinal surgery
- Allergies to medications
- Medical conditions like diabetes or cardiovascular disease
- Smoking or severe drinking
At Spinal Diagnostics, we focus on the spine and neuropathic pain management. Our team of specialists are recognized leaders in clinical research and will provide you with updated diagnostic processes and treatment options.
We have dedicated our practice to improving our patient’s quality of life without using opiate medications or traditional spine surgery. Over ten years of experience makes us the top choice for those with back and neck pain.
If you want to learn more about MILD®, call us, schedule an appointment online, or visit our locations in Tualatin and Newberg in Oregon.