X-Stop Changes Surgical Approach for Back Pain

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X-Stop implant provides relief from lower back pain with new outpatient surgical approach. Patients recover quickly and regain quality of life after outpatient back surgery.

Two Houston area surgeons are pioneering a revolutionary approach to back surgery called X-Stop. X-Stop, a titanium spacer implant inserted during back surgery, offers relief from lower back pain caused by lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), a narrowing of the spine that occurs with aging. The approach changes back treatment by offering a less-invasive back surgery than spinal fusion.

“It is a simple, less-invasive approach to back surgery, with outstanding results,” according to Dr. Henry Small, orthopedic surgeon. “Once the back surgery is performed, patients may be immediately relieved of pain and able to walk the same day.”

Along with Lee V. Ansell, MD, neurosurgeon, the surgeons are the first to provide X-Stop back surgery in southeast Texas. “X-Stop back surgery technology eases back pain and provides long term relief from physical symptoms for a majority of patients”, according to Dr. Ansell. “These patients with spinal stenosis have a narrowing of the spinal canal which places pressure on the nerves, resulting in pain that makes it difficult to stand or walk for long periods of time.”

The typical patient is over 50 years of age and has lost mobility due to the daily wear and tear on the spine, according to Dr. Ansell. Degenerative or age-related changes in the body can lead to compression of nerves (pressure on the nerves that may cause pain and/or damage). “Patients with LSS often have pain radiating down their legs as well as lower back pain,” says Dr. Ansell. “The symptoms only seem to improve when they sit, bend forward or lie down.”

The X-Stop back surgery procedure is typically done in less than an hour and the patient is discharged from the hospital within 24 hours. Only local anesthesia is used and there is no tissue or bone removal during the X-Stop back surgery procedure, which is reversible. The X-Stop implant is placed between the bones of the vertebrae, relieving the patient of pressure on the spine. It is designed to remain safely and permanently in place without attaching to the bone or ligaments in the back.

Normal activity can be resumed within two to six weeks after X-Stop back surgery, depending upon the patient’s progress, according to Drs. Ansell and Small. Patients may undergo physical therapy, but usually do not need pain medication. “The results of X-Stop back surgery are very encouraging for patients who have been suffering for years and could not undergo spinal fusion surgery,” says Dr. Small.

X-Stop, manufactured by St. Francis Medical Technologies, of Alameda, California, was FDA approved in November of 2005. The physicians perform the back surgery at Foundation Surgical Hospital of Bellaire.

To find out if you are a candidate for the X-Stop back surgery procedure, contact Dr. Ansell at 713-664-0894 or Dr. Small at 713-864-1506. The web site which contains information on X-stop back surgery is http://www.sfmt.com.


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Vickie Alleman
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