New Minimally Invasive Procedure Offers Relief for Symptoms of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
A new minimally invasive procedure for treatment of symptoms for neurogenic intermittent claudication due to lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is now available at Alexian Brothers Medical Center and St. Alexius Medical Center. The X-STOP® Interspinous Process Decompression (X-STOP® IPD®) system is currently being used by Thomas A. McNally, M.D.
The X-STOP IPD procedure involves implanting an X·STOP IPD device, a titanium alloy implant, to limit extension of the lumbar spine and keep the spinal canal open. The minimally invasive procedure takes about 45 to 90 minutes and can be done under local anesthesia. The X·STOP device underwent extensive clinical study and is the first device approved in the United States to treat the symptoms of LSS.
LSS, a narrowing in the lower part of the spinal canal that carries nerves to the legs, is manifested by pain in the legs, buttocks, groin and sometimes the back. Patients may experience dull back pain spreading to their legs, numbness, weakness or decreased endurance for physical activities.
Ideal candidates for the X·STOP procedure are patients over the age of 50 with moderately impaired physical function who experience relief from pain when they sit, bend, lie down or put their foot on a raised rest and who have undergone a regimen of at least six months of non-operative treatment. The X· STOP may be implanted at one or two lumbar levels in patients in whom operative treatment is indicated at no more than two levels.
“This new procedure fills the gap in the continuum of care that, until now,
required patients to make the leap from conservative therapies, such as pain management medications and physical therapy, straight to invasive surgery such as a laminectomy,” Dr. McNally says. “Unlike laminectomy, which involves removing parts of the bone and tissue that are narrowing the spinal canal and is an invasive surgical procedure requiring general anesthesia, the X-STOP is our first minimally invasive procedure to relieve the symptoms of LSS.”
Patient benefits of the X-STOP IPD include:
- Minimally invasive surgical procedure
- Can be done under a local anesthetic as an outpatient procedure
- Typically no bone or soft tissue removal
- Removable implant that does not prevent a patient from undergoing surgery at a later time
- Quick recovery time
LSS is on the rise due to the aging American population. Between 1997 and 2004, the number of hospital in-patient diagnosis of lumbar spinal stenosis increased 46 percent. More than 1.4 million Americans each year are diagnosed with LLS, which is the most common cause of back surgery in people over the age of 50.
Originally published in RAMA (Report on Alexian Medical Activities)
The new minimally invasive procedure, X-STOP IPD (X-STOP Interspinous Process Decompression) is being used by Dr. McNally. He says, “Unlike laminectomy, which involves removing parts of the bone and tissue that are narrowing the spinal canal and is an invasive surgical procedure requiring general anesthesia, the X-STOP is our first minimally invasive procedure to relieve the symptoms of LSS.”
*Lee Trevino, one of the world’s best-known professional golfers, had two X-STOP® spacers placed in his back. In his case, relief was rapid, and, he was playing golf a few weeks after the procedure.