Mild decompression procedure for lumbar spinal stenosis leads to sustained improvements in pain

Published on March 25, 2011 at 12:23 PM · No Comments

Patients treated for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) with the mild decompression procedure (an alternative to open spinal surgery for many patients), reported sustained improvements in pain and mobility at one year and had no serious adverse events occur, according to the first multi-center one-year post-study follow-up of this patient cohort. Results from this prospective, evidence-based study were presented today at the American Academy of Pain Medicine's 27th Annual Meeting.

The post-study results were presented by Timothy R. Deer MD, of The Center for Pain Relief in Charleston, West Virginia. Outcomes of the procedure were assessed one year post treatment for all available patients who had participated in the first mild multi-center U.S. clinical trial completed last year. Included in the report were 170 procedures, mostly bilateral at one or two affected levels, in fifty-eight patients who were treated with the mild therapy.

Four validated outcome instruments were used including the Visual Analog Score (VAS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Zurich Claudication Questionnaire (ZCQ), and the SF-12v2® Health Survey. The study patients achieved a significant improvement in pain (40 percent pain reduction) with VAS scoring improving in 79 percent of the patients, from overall mean 7.4 pre-treatment to 4.5 at Year One. Functional mobility also improved in 71 percent of the patients with overall mean ODI improving from 48.6 (severe disability) to 36.7 (moderate disability). The ZCQ and SF-12v2 measures also showed statistically and clinically significant improvements in pain and physical function, as well as satisfaction with overall result after the procedure.

"We did find that the functional criteria, as measured in an objective fashion, were statistically and significantly better after the mild procedure than at baseline," comments Dr. Deer.

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