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What Are Interlaminar Implants and When Are They Necessary?

Interlaminar implants are a relatively new and innovative solution for patients living with spinal stenosis, a condition that involves the compression of nerves by the spinal canal. In this blog, we’ll explore interlaminar implants in detail, understand how they work, and determine when they might be necessary for patients with spinal stenosis.

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a degenerative condition that results from the narrowing of the spinal canal. When pressure is put on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves, patients experience pain, numbness, and weakness in the back, neck, arms, and/or legs. Spinal stenosis can be caused by various factors, including aging, arthritis, and spinal injuries.

What Are Interlaminar Implants?

Interlaminar implants are small, spacer-like devices that are placed between the vertebrae in the spinal canal. They work by providing indirect decompression, i.e., they help alleviate pressure on the spinal cord and nerves by creating more space within the spinal canal.

Interlaminar implants are typically made of a biocompatible material, such as titanium or a polymer. Owing to their cutting-edge design, they’re incredibly flexible and easily conform to the natural curvature of the spine.

How Are Interlaminar Implants Inserted?

The insertion of interlaminar implants is typically performed as part of a minimally invasive surgical procedure called an interspinous process decompression (IPD). During the procedure, a small incision is made in the back. The surgeon uses specialized instruments to carefully insert the implant between the affected vertebrae. The implant is then secured in place, and the incision is closed.

When Are Interlaminar Implants Necessary?

A patient with spinal stenosis.


Interlaminar implants may be considered for patients with spinal stenosis who have not experienced significant relief from conservative treatments like physical therapy, medication, or injections. They are typically recommended for patients with moderate to severe spinal stenosis and symptoms like pain, numbness, or weakness in the extremities.

Benefits of Interlaminar Implants

Interlaminar implants offer several potential benefits for patients with spinal stenosis, including:

  • Minimally Invasive:The IPD procedure used to insert interlaminar implants is less invasive than what occurs during traditional spinal surgeries, resulting in shorter recovery times and reduced postoperative pain.


  • Preserved Spinal Mobility: Interlaminar implants are designed to maintain spinal flexibility and motion, unlike some spinal fusion procedures that can limit movement.


  • Reduced Risk of Complications:The minimally invasive nature of the IPD procedure can result in a lower risk of complications compared to more invasive spinal surgeries.

Risks and Considerations

All surgical procedures carry risk, and the insertion of interlaminar implants is no different. Patients may experience infection, bleeding, or damage to the spinal cord or nerves. Additionally, interlaminar implants may not provide sufficient relief for all patients, and some individuals may require additional treatments or procedures.

Recommended Read: The 5 Orthopedic Spine Treatments Available at Houston Physicians’ Hospital

Visit Houston Physicians’ Hospital

If you suffer from spinal stenosis, find an orthopedic spine specialist who’s right for you. At Friendswood Specialty Hospital, we treat spinal stenosis using various methods, including physical therapy, injections, surgery, medication, and implants. Visit our hospital for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

We also treat back pain, neck pain, Knee Surgery Webster TX, shoulder pain, and a wide range of other orthopedic conditions. If you have additional questions about spinal stenosis or interlaminar implants, find a doctor by reviewing our website and reach out to his or her office directly to make an appointment.