X-Stop Offers Help for Patients with Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

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X-Stop implant provides relief from lower back pain and leg fatigue with new outpatient back surgery.

Hugh Boyd’s legs would get so fatigued that he couldn’t stand in line at the post office without taking a break to sit down. Then he discovered that his problem was related to a lower back condition called lumbar spinal stenosis, which can be treated with a new implant called X-Stop.

“I didn’t even know what kind of problem I had. I just knew that I would wake up feeling tired and my legs would get fatigued very easily during the day,” says Boyd, who is a 71-year-old active retiree. “Today, I can bend and stoop while working on my model railroad sets. I’m fine now that I’ve had the back surgery.”

X-Stop back surgery is a newly approved back surgery that is minimally invasive. During surgery, a titanium spacer implant (X-Stop) is inserted between the vertebrae, providing relief from lower back pain and leg fatigue caused by lumbar spinal stenosis. Lumbar spinal stenosis is a common spinal problem occurring after the age of 50 that results from a narrowing of the lumbar spinal canal. As the canal narrows, the nerves are compressed, which can cause debilitating pain in the lower back, legs, and buttocks.

“I often had to stop after a short walk and sit down because I was so tired. I knew my problem needed help after I went to the post office and couldn’t stand in line without sitting down,” says Boyd. His symptoms began a year ago when he began feeling fatigued in his lower legs. “I went to a general practice physician and was referred to a specialist who could help with the leg fatigue,” says Boyd. He found Dr. José E. Rodriguez, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in spinal surgery in Houston, Texas.

“The X-Stop procedure is helping to revolutionize spinal care,” said Dr. Rodriguez, a board certified and fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon who has practiced medicine for 20 years. “This is a non-fusion back surgery that is minimally invasive, takes about an hour, and can be outpatient or require an overnight hospital stay. It is easy on the patient and the family as well as clinically effective.”

Medical journals have published studies which support the efficacy of X-Stop for the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis. The Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques published the results of a four-year study in July, which shows patients having significant improvement with X-Stop and remaining stable over time. Another study appearing in the Journal of Neurosurgery in June showed a greater clinical outcome two years after surgery of 63.4 percent compared to steroid injections and non-operative care which has a success rate of 12.9 percent.

“These results show the efficacy of X-Stop for lumbar spinal stenosis,” said Dr. Rodriguez. “This problem occurs mainly among the middle-aged and elderly. Today’s patient wants to remain active well into their 70s and 80s and X-Stop can help them do that.”

The X-Stop procedure was approved by the FDA in November 2005, and professional golfer Lee Trevino credits the minimally invasive back surgery with keeping him mobile and able to continue playing golf. The device, which has been available in Europe and Japan since 2001, has been implanted in an estimated 7,000 patients.

The typical patient suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis has lost mobility due to daily wear and tear on the spine, according to Dr. Rodriguez. “X-Stop is another alternative for my patients,” says Dr. Rodriguez. “I have seen excellent results and I enjoy seeing patients regain an active lifestyle.”

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.

X-Stop is manufactured by St. Francis Medical Technologies, of Alameda, California.

To find out if you are a candidate for the X-Stop back surgery procedure, contact Dr. Rodriguez at 713-781-5676 or visit the web site at http://www.joseerodriguez.com.

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Vickie Alleman
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