BRADENTON, Fla. — Through the use of minimally invasive indirect decompression surgery, pain management specialist Dr. Douglas Constant of Coastal Orthopedics is helping to reverse the effects and bring needed pain relief to patients suffering from spinal stenosis, a debilitating degenerative condition.
Dr. Constant is one of only 250 of the 4,000 interventional pain management physicians nationwide who is trained on this type of therapy.
Since May 2018, Dr. Constant and fellow Coastal Orthopedics pain management specialists Dr. Gennady Gekht and Dr. Justin Sirianni have performed nearly 25 minimally invasive indirect decompression surgeries using a Superion Interspinous Spacer, a minimally invasive lumbar decompression device designed to relieve chronic pain caused by spinal stenosis, without complication.
“The outcomes have exceeded my own expectations,” said Dr. Constant. “When we began, I was excited about what the future might hold for patients facing a limited quality of life due to spinal stenosis.”
While the Superion Interspinous Spacer wasn’t commercialized until July 2016, the device has more than five years of clinical data behind it, with the most recent data showing its ability to play a key role in the fight to reduce opioid use in the U.S.
“Eighty-five percent of the proportion of patients who were on opioids prior to treatment no longer were,” said Nick Villarreal, West Florida territory manager for Vertiflex, the company that created the Superion Interspinous Spacer. “This is incredibly powerful and potentially life-changing information.”
Those patients selected by Dr. Constant for the procedure, who were on low-dose or no-dose opioids initially, also saw a reduction in medication usage following the procedure.
“The relief is quick and within a few days patients notice a tremendous change in their quality of life,” said Dr. Constant. “It’s a real reward to hear anecdotes and to be able to share patients’ stories. It makes you excited to come to work.”
Characterized by the narrowing of the spine, spinal stenosis is a degenerative condition that frequently affects the elderly population. Spinal stenosis is often caused by changes to the spine related to osteoarthritis, resulting in significant lower back and leg pain when standing and walking.
Spinal stenosis plagues a number of people; and while there are a number of resources available, such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, injections and traditional surgery, there are limitations to how far they can take a patient.
Eventually the choices become limited, but now those patients who either don’t want a traditional surgery or are unable to undergo surgery for health reasons are finding alternative pain relief through the use of minimally invasive indirect decompression surgery.
During the procedure, Dr. Constant makes a small incision in the patient’s back and implants a Superior Interspinous Spacer between the spinous process — often referred to as the backbone of the spine.
Once in place between the bones, the Superion Interspinous Spacer is opened up, gradually holding the two backbones apart and allowing for decompression of the spinal canal by acting as a support column.
“In this case, it’s unique that we are able to offer a procedure that is not only less invasive but non-destructive because we’re not removing bone,” said Dr. Constant. “This does not replace the role of a surgeon because that’s still an important role. This is a specific therapy that has been well-placed in the market for treating spinal stenosis.”
About Coastal Orthopedics
Founded in 1973 and based in Bradenton, Fla., Coastal Orthopedics is home to 17 orthopedic surgeons and pain management physicians who maintain hospital affiliations with Blake Medical Center, Manatee Memorial Hospital and Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. In addition to three offices and two ambulatory surgery centers each servicing Florida’s West Coast, Coastal Orthopedics’ board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians and surgeons provide patients with the very latest in pain and orthopedic treatment technology. The company strives to repair and heal injuries relating to the entire musculoskeletal system.
For more than 40 years, its highly skilled staff of physicians and surgeons has treated patients in specialty care, including sports medicine, joint replacement, pain management and rehabilitation. Patients can experience restoration of function both surgically and non-surgically through the use of physician-guided strengthening, therapy, medications, injections and stretching. For more information, please visit CoastalOrthopedics.com or call 941-792-1404.