Our team at the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona (PISA) includes an outstanding group of board-certified medical professionals who specialize in interventional pain management, physical medicine, and physical rehabilitation.
We’ve got locations throughout Tucson, Green Valley, Safford, and Benson, Arizona. We’re committed to providing our patients with the most reliable, effective, and innovative treatments available for numerous painful and often debilitating conditions.
We’re pleased to announce that our physicians are the first and only in Southern Arizona to offer the Vertiflex® procedure, a highly effective and long-lasting solution for chronic low back pain.
What is Vertiflex?
The Vertiflex procedure tackles a common cause of lower back and leg pain – narrowing (stenosis) of the lumbar spinal canal. Spinal stenosis causes compression and irritation of the nerve roots that travel through the canal.
During the Vertiflex outpatient procedure, your PISA specialist places a small medical device into the spine. This implant, the Superion® Indirect Decompression System, keeps the affected space open and thus relieves the pressure causing pain and other symptoms associated with lumbar spinal stenosis.
What causes lumbar spinal stenosis?
Lumbar spinal stenosis is a common condition that’s often due to osteoarthritis, a type of “wear and tear” arthritis that’s typically related to the typical effects of aging on your spine. Changes associated with osteoarthritis can eventually narrow the canal enough to compress the sciatic nerve roots and cause sciatica.
Sciatica is a familiar issue for many individuals. Symptoms include lower back pain and discomfort traveling into the buttocks and down the back of the thigh to the lower leg. Sciatica can eventually lead to muscle weakness and other issues that make it difficult to walk more than 50 feet or stand for more than a few moments.
Other conditions that cause narrowing of the spinal canal include:
- Spondylolisthesis, a condition that causes vertebrae in the lumbar spine to slip out of place
- Traumatic injury to the spine
- Inherited conditions that cause the spine to curve
- Narrow spinal canal at birth
- Bone spurs or calcium deposits on spinal ligaments
Very rarely, tumors associated with the spine or nearby structures can also narrow the canal and compress nerve roots.
What are the benefits of Vertiflex?
The device implanted during the Vertiflex procedure creates more space for nerves in the spinal canal. This relieves your pain and other symptoms by alleviating pressure on the nerves.
Traditional surgical treatments for moderate to severe spinal stenosis, such as laminectomy or spinal fusion, require removing bone tissues or fusion of the spine to limit movement. Vertiflex, on the other hand, provides pain relief with less trauma to your muscles, ligaments, etc., and helps preserve movement.
Other benefits of Vertiflex compared to traditional surgery include:
- Less risk of infection
- Minimal blood loss
- Small incision size
- Choice of local anesthesia and conscious sedation versus general anesthesia
- The convenience of an outpatient procedure versus hospital stay with traditional surgery
Before scheduling the procedure, your PISA specialist discusses the details of Vertiflex, aftercare instructions, expected results, and other related issues. Also, check our Webinar Library for an informational video regarding Vertiflex.
Regardless of what’s causing your pain and loss of mobility, you can rely on our entire team to provide outstanding care and support throughout your experience at PISA. Schedule your visit to Southern Arizona’s premier pain management and physical rehab facility today!