St. Francis Hospital Offers a New, Mild® Procedure for Treating Chronic Back Pain

Roslyn, N Y - It may be hard for some of us to imagine being able to walk only a half a block without feeling chronic pain. But it’s an ordeal patients who suffer from spinal stenosis experience every day. The debilitating condition is caused by an abnormal narrowing of the spine that can make every step a nightmare. Now St. Francis Hospital is offering a new procedure called Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression or MILD, that’s anything but, when it comes to relieving the pain.

Patrick Annello, M.D., recently performed the first MILD procedures at St. Francis, with amazing results. The procedure is performed under a mild local anesthetic with light sedation. Using an image-guided probe the size of a pen, doctors can locate and remove small portion of tissue and bone that pinch your spinal cord and cause pain.

“Traditional back surgery can involve a three to four hour procedure with a lot of blood loss,” says Dr. Annello, a Board Certified Anesthesiologist and Pain Management physician. “A MILD procedure takes about an hour, requires no sutures, and patients can often be released from the hospital the very same day.”

Dr. Annello says patients typically have a 50-50 chance of feeling relief following back surgery. He recommends MILD to people who don’t want to face those odds or who have underlying medical conditions that put them at risk for surgery. For 74-year-old Clayton Johnson, an insurance sales executive, and 79-year-old Theresa Bova, a retired secretary, the doctor’s recommendation really paid off. They were the first two patients to receive MILD surgery at St. Francis and said they felt almost instantaneous relief.

“I’ve tried everything from chiropractors to physical therapy to epidural steroid injections, with no relief,” says Mr. Johnson. “Now, I’ve gone from extreme pain to no pain at all. I look forward to being able to walk the neighborhood school track where I used to run.”

“It’s a miracle. I feel like a new person,” says Mrs. Bova. “The thought of spinal surgery scared me, but this was remarkable. I am actually able to walk without pain.”

For more information on the procedure, you can visit


Paul Barry, 516-705-6657,
Rosemary Gomez, 516-705-6656,