Minimal procedure offered for back pain

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, January 11, 2012

RUSSELL, Ky. — For many people, back pain is inevitable. For some it’s manageable, for others it’s intolerable.

A doctor at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital has a new solution to the same old problem.

This new procedure, performed by Dr. Harry Bell, is known as Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression (MILD).

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Lumbar Spinal Stenosis (LSS) is a problem affecting many individuals, with chronic back and leg pain underlining the main symptoms. LSS leads to decreased mobility and an overall reduced quality of life.

“MILD relieves pressure on nerves in the lower spinal canal, helping to reduce chronic back and leg pain, and improving mobility,” Bell said.

MILD is performed by removing bone or tissue, causing pressure to decrease on the nerves through a pencil sized opening in the back. Bell performs the procedure at the OLBH Same Day Surgery Center.

“The structural integrity of the spine and surrounding muscle is maintained and no implants are left behind,” Bell said.

Bell is a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist who practices at Bellefonte Advance Pain Physicians in the Same Day Surgery Center on the OLBH campus.

“LSS prevents individuals from walking down an aisle at Walmart without being in severe pain,” Bell said.

The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia and light sedation. Only a small. Band-aid is required, patients go home the same day and are able to resume activities within a few days. Many people experience significant relief within hours of the procedure, Bell said.

The traditional treatments for LSS include narcotic drugs, injections or open surgeries, which often require hospitalization and prolonged recovery.

“If the procedure doesn’t provide relief, surgery would be the best option but it’s based on the individual person, based on each patient’s medical status,” Bell said.

For more information concerning the MILD procedure, contact Bellefonte Advance Pain and Physicians by calling (606) 833-6210. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.