Last updated: May 22, 2020

What is M.I.L.D.?

MILD stands for Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression. It is used to treat patients with Lumbar Spinal Stenosis (LSS). Lumbar Spinal Stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that puts pressure on the nerves for the lumbar spine. Symptoms can include pain and numbness in the low back and into the legs with reduced ability to stand and walk. Lumbar Stenosis may be the result of aging and degeneration of the spine as well as increased bone growth and thickening of the spinal ligaments. MILD is a safe minimally invasive treatment that is a new therapeutic option to relieve pressure on the spine (lumbar decompression). It can help reduce lower back and leg pain and increase mobility for those patients diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS). MILD spine surgery is image-guided so the doctor can visually see the treatment field. The procedure is performed using specialized mild devices and a local anesthetic with conscious (‘awake’ or ‘light’ as opposed to ‘general’) sedation.

Procedure details

Trained, qualified physicians use the mild spinal stenosis treatment to restore space (relieve pressure on nerves) in the spinal canal while maintaining the natural supporting structure of bone and muscle in the spine. This is accomplished by locating and removing only those portions of tissue and bone that compress the spinal nerves producing the pain. In general, the mild procedure to relieve LSS takes only about an hour to perform, requires no sutures due to the minimal entry point (about the diameter of a pencil), leaves no implants behind and only a small scar remains. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and patients may require minimal rehabilitation returning to daily activities quicker than more invasive procedures.

Conditions treated by MILD

Spinal Stenosis due to degeneration of discs, increased ligament and bone growth resulting in narrowing of the spinal canal. Patients may experience back and leg pain, numbness, weakness, difficulty maintaining an upright position as well as decreased ability to walk and stand.

This page was published on Jul 20, 2017, modified on May 22, 2020 by Dr. Freeman (Pain Management Specialist) of Redefine Healthcare
Dr. Eric D. Freeman, a highly regarded pain specialist

Dr. Eric D. Freeman, a highly regarded pain specialist in New Jersey, is board-certified and fellowship-trained in Interventional Spine and Pain Management and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He is an expert in minimally invasive spinal procedures and non-surgical orthopedic care.

Dr. Freeman is a member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Interventional Pain Practice Society. In addition, he serves as the Immediate Past President of the New Jersey Society of Interventional Pain Physicians. Dr. Freeman is well-known in the field of pain management as a leading pain management doctor, having been named one of "America's Top Physicians."