An interspinous processes spacer (also known as a decompression spacer or interspinous posterior device) is a device implanted between spinous processes to open narrowed exiting foraminal nerve channels to treat lumbar radiculopathy caused by spinal stenosis. It is used as an alternative to laminectomy, especially in elderly patients 1.
The process of implantation is usually minimally invasive, performed under local anesthesia.
Many different designs of interspinous spacer exist, made of varying materials including titanium, silicone and polyetheretherketone (PEEK), a biocompatible plastic 2.
- 1. Landi A. Interspinous posterior devices: What is the real surgical indication?. (2014) World journal of clinical cases. 2 (9): 402-8. doi:10.12998/wjcc.v2.i9.402 - Pubmed
- 2. Phan K, Rao PJ, Ball JR, Mobbs RJ. Interspinous process spacers versus traditional decompression for lumbar spinal stenosis: systematic review and meta-analysis. (2016) Journal of spine surgery (Hong Kong). 2 (1): 31-40. doi:10.21037/jss.2016.01.07 - Pubmed