Low back pain has become a chronic condition across the U.S. and is the leading cause of disability worldwide. In fact, lower back pain is one of the main reasons people miss work the second most common reason for a visit to the doctor’s office.
"Over the past eight years, Orlando Orthopaedic Center has become the regional leader in minimally-invasive spinal surgery. We have successfully performed more than 1,000 cases over the past few years alone. The new Coflex® developments for the treatment of spinal stenosis for those who wish to avoid a spinal fusion are exciting indeed."
- Dr. McBride
However, a new FDA-approved minimally-invasive spine procedure has been developed and implemented for patients experiencing moderate to severe degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis. The Coflex® interlaminar stabilization implant is changing the game for spinal stenosis patients wishing to avoid spinal fusion surgery, addressing both back and leg pain and preserving spinal motion and flexibility at the same time.
What Is Spinal Stenosis?
Through gradual wear and tear on the spine as people age, bone spurs and other deposits can form in the spinal canal, reducing its diameter and increasing pressure on the spinal nerves. Known as spinal stenosis, the added stress on the spinal cord can cause pain or numbing in the lower back, buttocks, and legs and lead to significant discomfort when walking or standing for short periods of time. As the American population ages, the number of spinal stenosis cases is expected to double to 2.5 million by the year 2020.
How Does Coflex® Work?
Coflex® is a small, slightly flexible titanium implant device implanted following a minimally-invasive lumbar decompression to stabilize the lamina while preserving some motion. The lamina is the back portion of the arch that forms the roof of the spinal canal that covers the spinal nerves.
With the Coflex® procedure:
- The stenosis symptoms of pain, numbing, and discomfort are fully addressed
- The opening of the spinal column (known as foraminal height) is maintained
- Patients get the benefit of long-term stabilization without requiring a more complex spinal fusion procedure
The Coflex® Interlaminar Stabilization implant is an IDE PMA FDA – Approved Class III device with Level I Landmark Data that includes cost, charge, and healthcare economics. The Coflex® device is placed in the interlaminar space at the back of the lumbar spine at one or two adjoining levels after surgical decompression surgery and is recommended by the FDA for treatment of moderate to severe degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis in physically mature adults.
In the FDA study when compared to traditional fusion patients, Coflex® patients experienced:
- Less blood loss
- Shorter surgical times
- Shorter hospital stays
Many Coflex® patients are up and walking the same day following their surgery.
Since Coflex® is not a fusion procedure, patients maintain their range of motion and flexibility, and usually for an extended period. In a 5-year follow-up study, Coflex® patients had the same or better outcomes as fusion patients five years after their surgery and maintained all the essential anatomical benchmarks.
Coflex® is not for everyone, but for the right patient, real relief from back and leg pain is possible.
Think You Might Be A Candidate?
If you think you may be a candidate for one of these highly specialized procedures please contact me at my team email address TeamMcBride@orlandoortho.com.