What Is an Interspinous Spacer?


An interspinous spacer is designed to treat the symptoms of spinal stenosis, a sometimes painful condition caused by a narrowing of the spinal canal. The spacer is an implant designed to keep the space between your spinous processes open, so that when you stand upright, the nerves in your back will not be pinched or cause pain.

By enlarging the space between the bones in your back, the spacer reduces pressure on the spinal nerves, thereby alleviating the symptoms of spinal stenosis, including:

  • Leg pain, cramping
  • Numbness or tingling in the lower back, buttocks and legs

The spacer is designed to remain permanently in place without attaching screws or hardware to the bone or ligaments in your back. Because the bone and tissue removal typically associated with traditional back surgery is usually not necessary with a spacer, the natural anatomy of the spine may be preserved.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 27 Sep 2010

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