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What is Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression?

Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression (MILD®) is a treatment created by Vertos Medical to treat for lumbar spinal stenosis. Patients with lumbar spinal stenosis typically cannot stand or walk for long distances, and frequently will have weakness in their legs, often without pain.

What Does MILD Treat?

The MILD procedure treats lumbar spinal stenosis. Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lumbar spine, which is in the lower back.

Common symptoms patients with lumbar spinal stenosis are:

  • Back pain
  • Leaning forward, such as on a shopping cart, to alleviate pressure caused by compression of the spine
  • Cannot stand or walk for long distances
  • Have weakness, numbness, or tingling in their legs, often without pain

The most common cause of lumbar spinal stenosis is osteoarthritis, a disease which causes wear-and-tear damage to the joints.

How Does the Procedure Work?

During the minimally-invasive outpatient MILD procedure, the patient will lie on their stomach. Local or general anesthesia is administered, preventing the patient from experiences pain or discomfort during the procedure. A small incision is made in the lower back. The surgeon will use the guidance of fluoroscopy to insert a stabilized depth-limiting portal. The surgeon will use the opening in the portal to remove any obstruction caused by osteophyte growth, or bone spurs. Once a clearing is open, the physician will use the MILD Tissue Sculptor to remove a section of thickened ligament, repeating this until enough ligament is removed to restore space in the spinal canal, and reduce compression of the nerves. This fixes lumbar spinal stenosis, eliminating the cause of the pain.

The patient will need someone to drive them home following the procedure. Patients typically resume normal activity within 24 hours.

What are the Risks?

Although the complication rate for the MILD procedure is low, all surgical procedures have risk of infection, and procedures that uses general or local anesthesia have risks of anesthetic complications. The MILD procedure is considered to be low risk, however complications including dural tears and nerve root injuries, can occur. The MILD procedure is a minimally-invasive procedure, which has substantially lower risk of complications, including infection, when compared to open surgery.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression

The MILD procedure offers a much less invasive option for treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis compared to traditional surgical options. Considered to be the least invasive option to treat lumbar spinal stenosis, MILD provides rapid from the symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis, typically within a few days.

For more information on the MILD procedure, visit Vertos Medical’s website at