Most patients who undergo minimally invasive spine procedure avoid surgery for 5 years: Cleveland Clinic

The majority of patients who undergo a minimally invasive lumbar decompression procedure can avoid surgery for at least five years, a Cleveland Clinic study found.

Minimally invasive lumbar decompression, also called "mild," is a treatment option for lumbar spinal stenosis patients with hypertrophic ligamentum flavum as a contributing factor. CMS increased reimbursement for the mild procedure at ASCs last year.

Researchers conducted a five-year follow-up with 75 patients who underwent the procedure from 2010 through 2015 at the Cleveland Clinic Department of Pain Management. The results, published May 4 in Pain Practice, found nine of those patients required lumbar surgical decompression during the five-year follow-up period.

The study concluded: "The mild procedure is durable over 5 years and may allow elderly patients with symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis to avoid lumbar decompression surgery while providing significant symptomatic relief."

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