Interspinous process distraction: A spacer device is inserted between the spinous processes – the bony protrusions along the back of the lumbar spine. Once in place, the spacer lifts and opens the spinal canal as if one were in a seated position rather than a standing position, effectively relieving the pressure on the spinal nerves. The spacer device is not attached to bone or ligament and does not result in spinal fusion. The surgery is minimally invasive and can be done under local anesthetic. Because interspinous process distractors are relatively new compared to a laminectomy, the long-term effectiveness is not known. Also, not all insurance companies will pay for this technology and out-of-pocket expenses may be incurred.
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Close The procedure Dr. Neece did on my spine was the first surgery of any kind for me, as well as my first stay in a hospital. Based on x-rays and the results of an MRI, I decided rather quickly to do the surgery. During the 16 days from the time I first met with Dr. Neece until he successfully completed the operation, the time and attention I received from Dr. Neece and his office staff was truly remarkable. He consulted me on my condition, sitting down with me and my wife and going over the MRI results. He emphasized that the condition was not one that necessarily called for immediate remedy, but would need to be monitored and eventually corrected. He explained the risks that came with the condition. He answered all my questions and fully explained what would happen in surgery. Once I decided to go ahead, he and his staff quickly moved to get the procedure scheduled. Since I wanted to do this before the year ended – only two weeks away – because of my insurance situation and because it was a good time for me at work. Myrtle and Christina moved quickly to get everything arranged. I had the surgery on New Year’s Eve. The hospital experience went well, and the surgery was almost painless. I have had much more pain and recovery problems from some of my dental work. Dr. Neece was in my room at 11pm that evening and back the next morning. I went home the day after the surgery and was back to work on January 6th.