Dynamic stabilization is a surgical technique that shores up a compromised or weakened segment of the spine. Patients with an unstable spine are prone to developing pinched nerves adjacent to the spinal column as a result of excessive motion. Symptoms may include leg pain, numbness and weakness. Spinal instability may be caused by spinal disc degeneration, a congenital condition or as a result of surgery in which the normal stabilization structures of the spine or removed.
Traditionally, spinal stability has been achieved through spinal fusion surgery. During this procedure, bone is stimulated to grow between and join two or more adjacent vertebrae. As a result, the patient will experience a certain amount of loss of mobility of the spine and stresses are transferred to the discs above and below the fusion. This can lead to future problems, especially for young, active patients.
An alternative to spinal fusion, dynamic stabilization uses flexible materials to brace the structural components of the spine while preserving some natural motion. Generally, dynamic stabilization is performed in the lower back since this is the area of your spine that is more prone to spinal degeneration and a narrowing of the spinal canal.