Vertiflex, also known as interspinous spacers, is a type of minimally invasive intervention. Its primary goal is to create additional space between the vertebrae, which are the individual bones that make up the spine.
By creating this extra space, Vertiflex helps to relieve pressure on the nerves. This pressure is often a source of pain and discomfort in many spinal conditions.
These conditions that can cause such pressure and benefit from Vertiflex include spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and herniated discs. These often lead to painful and debilitating symptoms, which Vertiflex aims to reduce.
Compared to traditional surgical procedures, Vertiflex offers smaller incisions, less tissue disruption, and a faster recovery time. Vertiflex also helps preserve the spine's normal anatomy since no bone or soft tissue removal is performed.
At Spinal Diagnostics, we specialize in comprehensive care for all kinds of spinal conditions. We aim to address the unique needs of patients experiencing back and neck pain through personalized treatment plans.
Your spine offers support and stability to your body while also protecting your central nervous system. Having a healthy spine is crucial for overall well-being and quality of life.
Numerous conditions may cause pain due to spinal deterioration. Some of the most common conditions that may benefit from Vertiflex interspinous spacers include:
- Herniated disc: A herniated disc occurs when an intervertebral disc becomes damaged or displaced, leading to nerve irritation and lumbar pain. It may be caused by degenerative wear due to aging but also by physical injuries because of incorrect lifting techniques or trauma.
- Degenerative disc disease: Degenerative disc disease occurs when the intervertebral discs in charge of absorbing shock and adding flexibility to the spine wear down due to age and physical activity. When this happens, the area available for the spinal nerves within the spinal cord reduces, leading to pain and discomfort.
- Spinal stenosis: Spinal stenosis occurs when there is increased pressure on the spinal nerves due to the narrowed spaces between the bones in the spine. Symptoms that characterize spinal stenosis include pain in the lower back or legs when standing or walking and difficulty with balance and coordination.
The Vertiflex procedure involves placing interspinous spacers, small implants usually made of titanium alloy or composite material. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia, allowing the insertion of the implant between the affected vertebrae.
The vertebrae are the movable structures that hug each intervertebral disc. They are in charge of providing support and protecting the spinal cord. Vertiflex interspinous spacers are inserted between them to maintain appropriate stability and padding to avoid wearing and pain.
Once in place, these interspinous spaces help to reduce the symptoms associated with nerve compression conditions, allowing mobility to be restored.
Before The Procedure
Before undergoing the procedure, your doctor will help determine if Vertiflex is the best alternative for your case. In case you suffer from osteoporosis or have had a spinal fracture, your doctor may suggest other types of treatments.
The initial consultation may include:
- Reviewing your medical history
- Physical examination of your spine, neck, and legs
- Digital imaging, including X-rays and MRI scans
To prepare for your appointment, your doctor may advise you to discontinue certain medications that could increase the risk of abnormal bleeding or those which could interfere with anesthesia. You may also be asked not to drink or eat anything for a few hours before the procedure.
During the Vertiflex Procedure
During your Vertiflex procedure, your doctor may follow these steps:
- Anesthesia: Local anesthesia will be applied to numb the area where the incision will be made. If you want to be completely comfortable during the process, you can ask your doctor to apply mild sedation.
- Incision: Your doctor will make a small 1 cm incision over the targeted lumbar area. This allows them access to the spinal vertebrae that are causing pain.
- Insertion of the Vertiflex Spacer: Through the incision, the small Vertiflex implant will be carefully placed between the vertebrae, creating space within the spinal canal.
- Imaging: Once the implant is placed, your doctor may use digital imaging to ensure optimal alignment and perform the necessary adjustments.
- Incision Closure: After your doctor determines that the implant is correctly placed, the incision will be closed using sutures or medical adhesive.
The process usually lasts about an hour to two hours.
After the Vertiflex Procedure
After the process is completed, you will stay under observation with our medical team to ensure no complications arise. You may be allowed to go home the same day since Vertiflex is performed as an outpatient procedure.
We suggest arranging transportation with a family member or a close friend since driving immediately after the placement of Vertiflex spacers is not recommended.
Following the procedure, your doctor may advise you to avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, or any activity that may interfere with your spinal mobility. Depending on your body's reaction, you may be prescribed anti-inflammatory and non-opioid pain medications to manage discomfort.
Having follow-up appointments will help you and your doctor assess your spinal progress and discuss any post-procedure care instructions.
Some benefits offered by Vertiflex interspinous spacers include the following:
- Symptom Relief: Vertiflex helps to alleviate spinal nerve compression symptoms like pain, numbness, tingling, and leg weakness.
- Improved Mobility: Vertiflex aims to improve mobility by relieving pressure on the nerves, allowing individuals to perform daily activities like walking or standing for long periods of time.
- Minimally Invasive Intervention: Compared to traditional surgical procedures, Vertiflex offers smaller incisions, less nerve and spinal tissue disruption, and faster recovery time.
- Preserved Spinal Anatomy: Vertiflex helps to alleviate spinal pain and stress symptoms while preserving the normal anatomy of the spine since no removal or alteration is performed. This helps to maintain the spine’s normal stability.
At Spinal Diagnostics, we have developed strong expertise in minimally invasive interventions for spinal issues. Our spinal professionals have undergone extensive training and experience in this field. We are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and diagnostic tools to accurately assess your spinal condition and offer a tailored treatment plan.
With a focus on personalized care, we take a comprehensive approach to each patient’s case. We offer different types of treatment plans ranging from pain management procedures, lifestyle change, and physical therapy to non-opioid medications, injections, and minimally invasive interventions.
Our multidisciplinary approach helps patients receive the best care for their specific case.
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 Vertiflex, call us, schedule an appointment online, or visit our locations in Tualatin and Newberg in Oregon.