Thanks to a new treatment being offered by Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, Fountain Valley residents suffering from chronic lower back pain might finally find relief.
Lumbar spinal stenosis is a degenerative, age-related narrowing of the lower spinal canal that causes pressure on the nerves and leads to pain and immobility. LSS is a common condition among those over 50, with 1.2 million Americans diagnosed and treated each year.
Orange Coast is now offering LSS patients a new treatment alternative called mild. Developed by Aliso Viejo-based Vertos Medical Inc., mild is designed to remove the source of LSS symptoms earlier in the treatment process. During the procedure, the physician uses mild devices to remove small pieces of bone and the tissue causing the pressure on the nerves. Many mild patients report immediate relief, and most go home the same day.
"We are extremely excited about offering this new procedure for our LSS patients because it offers them a clinically-proven alternative to surgery," said Dr. Medhat Mikhael, pain management specialist at OCMMC. "In addition, the mild procedure represents one of the only viable treatment alternatives for older patients who may not be healthy enough to endure the physical demands associated with surgery."
Former housekeeper and factory worker Marie Fogarty, 71, recently became the hospital’s first patient to undergo the procedure. The Fountain Valley resident and longtime LSS sufferer had taken pain medications and had undergone laser spine surgery before discovering she was a candidate for mild. Dr. Mikhael performed the procedure Jan. 18, and immediately after she felt relief from the pain that prevented her from enjoying daily activities such as walking around her neighborhood.
"I would highly recommend this procedure to others because it would be great to help someone else who is suffering from the same type of pain I endured for several years," Fogarty said. "Each day following my procedure I felt better and better, and now I really enjoy taking walks around my neighborhood because I no longer have to fight through the pain."