Herniated spinal discs, spinal injuries, or bone spurs can cause the open spaces in the spine to narrow, a condition known as spinal stenosis. Some people with this condition have no pain, while others experience back pain or leg pain when walking and standing. The Vertiflex Superion implant can help minimize pain by supporting the spinal vertebrae and limiting the extension of or pinching of nerves.
This small device, implanted between two vertebrae, prevents the bones from compressing spinal nerves. In the same way sitting alleviates lumbar spinal stenosis pain, the Vertiflex holds the spine in a position as if it’s at rest, even when patients are standing or walking.
The process of implanting the Vertiflex takes about 30 minutes (possibly longer, for patients receiving more than one implant). The small surgical incision (about the size of a dime) will be covered with a bandage and must be cleaned daily with soap and water. At a follow-up visit, usually one to two weeks after the procedure, the patient’s physician will examine the incision (and remove any staples or sutures).
With a Vertiflex implant, people may begin gradually increasing their walking time (while avoiding strenuous activity for six weeks). The pain-relieving effects of the implant may be noticeable within one week, with symptoms improving gradually in the weeks and months following the procedure. For best results, patients must follow their doctor’s treatment plan, which may include physical therapy.