Spinal spacers (Vertiflex)

Spinal spacers, also known as Vertiflex, are a treatment for patients with lumbar spinal stenosis with lower extremity numbness, tingling or pain that is relieved with lumbar flexion. These patients must also have failed conservative treatment and are unable or unwilling to undergo open spine surgery.

Risks include infection, bleeding and nerve injury. The procedure involves lying face down on an X-ray table. You will receive sedating medication through an IV, and your back is scrubbed with an antibacterial cleanser. Your physician uses an X-ray camera to identify the target level, and a local anesthetic is used to numb the skin.

A small incision is made in your back, and a small tube the size of a dime is advanced in between the spinous processes in your back. An implant is placed through the tube and deployed. This implant prevents the bones in your back from compressing the nerves when standing or leaning back, relieving your pain.

The procedure usually takes 30 to 45 minutes, and patients typically recover quickly.

For brief educational videos, click the links below:

Superion Indirect Decompression System

Vertiflex Procedure

The links to these video are for educational purposes only. See disclaimer.

Video disclaimer

The links to the videos on this page are for informational purposes only. The video content is not intended to be professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The links will take you to Veritas Health content. Veritas Health publishes educational health information to help patients better understand symptoms, conditions, and a variety of treatment options. Their content is authored by expert health professionals but does not reflect the opinions of UK HealthCare or our providers. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health. Reliance on the content is solely at your own risk.