If conservative treatments such as anti- inflammatory medication, physical therapy and epidural steroid injections fail to relieve symptoms, many patients consider decompression surgery.
About Decompression Surgery
This year alone, an estimated 325,000 surgical procedures that involve decompression to treat lumbar stenosis will be performed in the U.S. Decompression involves cutting away overgrown bone and tissue to relieve pressure around the impacted nerve. It is well documented as a successful spine surgery. The majority of
lumbar stenosis patients have good results with decompression, and most leave the hospital in a few days and return to normal activities in only a few weeks.
Traditional decompression instruments are rigid and knife-like in design, limiting their ability to access all three areas of the spine where lumbar stenosis occurs. Failure to remove all stenosis during a traditional decompression results in poor surgical outcomes almost 60% of the time, such as continued or recurring pain or the need for another operation.
In order to reach the overgrown bone and tissue pressing on the nerve, surgeons sometimes must cut through bone and tissue in a straight line, often requiring the removal of healthy pieces of the patient’s spine needed for stability. However, removing as little as 30% of healthy bone and tissue to access the area of the patient’s lumbar stenosis during traditional decompression can lead to a complication called instability of the spine and the possible need for a spinal fusion procedure to stabilize the unstable joint.
Now there is a new alternative to traditional decompression with rigid instruments. The iO-Flex System is the first minimally invasive set of flexible instruments designed to target lumbar stenosis in all three areas, with minimal disruption to the patient’s healthy anatomy. Instead of cutting through healthy pieces of
the spine, the iO-Flex System uses a fine surgical wire to guide the thin iO-Flex shaver instrument to the location of the overgrown bone and tissue to shave away the stenosis from the inside out (iO).
The iO-Flex Advantage
Minimally Invasive Surgery
- Designed to be less invasive and less traumatic, may lead to shorter operating times, hospital stays and recovery times compared to traditional decompression
- Only instrument able to reach and relieve pressure surrounding up to two nerves on each side of the spine, through one small incision
Target All Three Areas of Stenosis
- System offers improved access to target all three areas of lumbar stenosis, which occur in the lateral recess, foramen and central canal where the nerves exit the spine and travel to the lower half of the body
Preserving Healthy Bone and Tissue
- MicroBlade Shaver instrument is guided by a Guidewire into hard to reach areas where stenosis can occur, unlike traditional knife-like tools that must cut in a straight line
- Tissue-sparing instruments preserve healthy bone, ligaments and muscle to help maintain spinal stability