What is the Inspan Procedure?

The Inspan is a device used to treat spinal stenosis and instability. It treats an underlying degenerative disc and faucet joints that are causing painful symptoms in the spine. The inspan is an implant used in a minimally invasive technique that offers long lasting relief by opening the spinal canal and the foramen to relieve spinal nerve compression. The implant restores disc height, decompresses and fixates the fact joints and immobilized them for the bony surfaces to fuse together. The InSpan device eliminates the need for additional screws (called pedicle screws) as well as the need for a laminectomy (bone removal). This reduces the risk of complications and further bone breakdown, requiring further surgery in the future.

What is spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a painful condition of the spine that occurs when the spaces in the spine narrow and create pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots. Spinal stenosis can eventually cause weakness and pain in the back and legs, eventually weakening leg function and the ability to walk, work or enjoy life.

How does the Inspan procedure help spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease?

The Inspan device is placed with a small incision (2-inches) and can be done in about an hour. The design of the Inspan’s unique interlaminar shape allows for decompression of the spine and distraction while it maintains the correct curve of the spine (called lordosis). The Inspan opens up the spinal canal to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves while stopping the painful motion of the joint. This provides a long-term solution to joint pain that has not been helped by conservative therapies.

Why would I want the Inspan spinal procedure?

Inspan treats the underlying problem within the spine causing pain. It is an implant used in a minimally invasive technique that can provide lasting relief after spinal fusion or treatment of spinal stenosis. Inspan opens the spinal canal and the foramen to relieve nerve compression, restores disc height, decompresses and fixates the facet joints to immobilize them for the bony surfaces to fuse.

Is the Inspan procedure FDA Cleared?

The FDA has given clearance on the Inspan device to be used for spinal stenosis or for similar spine problems. Early studies of the Inspan have found it to provide pain relief for spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, spinal trauma and other spinal conditions.

Is Inspan spinal stenosis and joint fusion right for me?

It is always best to have our physicians at Optimal evaluate you for the proper treatment. Most often, non-surgical or conservative options are explored first, with recommendations for procedures like the Inspan only when it would benefit the patient most. Patients who are best suited for the Inspan are those with the following:

  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Trauma
  • Spinal Tumor
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Faucet joint abnormalities