Dynamic Lumbar Spine Stabilization
Dynamic lumbar spine stabilization is a surgical technique that stabilizes the spine with flexible materials to allow for more mobility in the spine than traditional spinal fusion surgery. It is a growing area of spine surgery because it can reduce some of the problems inherent with metal implants, such as disc degeneration in the discs next to the fusion site.
Dynamic stabilization uses rods made of flexible materials to stabilize the affected level of the spine. The flexible portion of the rod limits motion between the vertebrae, but it does not completely eliminate movement. This technique also reduces the load on the spine’s joints and discs, which may reduce pain.
UPMC neurosurgeons recommend spinal stabilization when the movement of a damaged spinal disc causes pain or if a condition such as spondylolisthesis allows the spine to become unstable. It may also be needed if a patient undergoes surgery to remove of the normal stabilizing structures of the spine. When the spine is unstable, excessive motion can cause the nerves adjacent to the spinal column to be pinched, leading to leg pain, numbness, and weakness. By stabilizing the spinal column, abnormal motion of the spinal segments is limited.