A Patient’s Guide to Dynamic Stabilization of the Spine

Guide to Dynamic Stabilization

Dynamic stabilization is one of two options available for patients preferring non-fusion spine procedures that stabilize the spine without severely limiting mobility. The procedure is primarily meant for use in patients with degenerative disc disease, a term used to refer to the normal deterioration of discs with age, and patients with lumbar facet disease, pain at the joint between two vertebrae.

Candidates for Dynamic Stabilization

Prime candidates for dynamic stabilization are younger patients who are otherwise healthy. It can help such patients retain flexibility while providing the necessary spinal support. It is not usually recommended for older patients with osteoporotic bones or patients who have achieved some degree of natural fusion with age.

The Procedure

Dynamic stabilization requires about 2-3 days of hospitalization. During the procedure, screws are inserted into structures above and below the diseased area. Bendable rods or elastic bands are then attached to the screws. Due to the flexibility of the connection between the rods or bands and the screws, some degree of motion can still take place while still providing stabilization to reduce pain. The procedure can treat:

  • Discogenic back pain (from disc degeneration)
  • Chronic back pain (aggravated with movement)
  • Leg pain (in certain cases)

It is important for individuals considering dynamic stabilization to understand:

  • If a patient fails to experience meaningful relief following the procedure, they still have the option of going ahead with traditional fusion surgery.
  • In some cases, dynamic stabilization may be performed with a fusion.
  • The procedure retains the bony plate of each vertebral body, typically removed during a spinal decompression procedure.

Despite advances in fusion surgery over the years, it still can pose risks for patients, including increased odds of premature degeneration of nearby discs. Dynamic stabilization, approved by the FDA for fusion only, represents one of the growing numbers of alternatives to traditional fusion surgery available to patients suffering from spinal pain.

To learn more about dynamic stabilization and the other options available for treatment of spinal pain, don’t hesitate to reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Located in Santa Monica, CA, we proudly serve the greater Los Angeles area and beach communities, and are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about your current condition. Call us today at 310-828-7757 to schedule an in-person consultation or visit our website at www.laspine.com for more information.