Spinal stenosis occurs when the spaces between the bones in the spine start to compress. It's a common condition that affects many people as they age.
Now local doctors have found a way to liberate patients from the pain with a new minimally invasive procedure.
Less than three weeks after her spine procedure, Yolanda Bergman of Brentwood is anxious to get back doing back bends at her silk aerial workouts.
Bergman suffers from a narrowing of the spinal canal called spinal stenosis, a common condition.
Bergman said, "It felt like somebody put a nail in your spine. And at the end of the day from just normal activity it felt like someone was hammering on that nail."
The discs between your vertebral bodies should look full like a jelly doughnut. But doctors say with age, they flatten like a pancake.
"Then it can cause these two bones to come closer together, causing this opening to become smaller which can cause this nerve root to become compromised," said Dr. Akash Bajaj with Remedy Spine & Pain Solutions. https://www.remedypainsolutions.com/
The conventional way to treat it: major spinal surgery. Something Bergman refused to do.
Then she met Dr. Bajaj who performed a new 90-minute procedure. Through a tiny opening, he implanted a quarter-sized device called Vertiflex. https://www.vertiflex.com/for-patients/
"It is like a titanium implant that mimics something like a car jack," Bajaj said, "All we're doing is separating those bones to what they were before they started to degenerate."
Bergman said, "And the difference has been night and day."
Vertiflex is also reversible. Bajaj said it's is not for patients who are morbidly obese. And not everyone with low back pain is a candidate.
"So patients that lean forward on a shopping cart in the grocery store for example to get relief of their back pain. That's the kind of stenosis, we're looking to target here," he said.
Bergman feels strong again and can't wait to hit the ropes.
"My husband said no. My doctor said yes. We'll see who's right," she said.