Back Pain Milestone: Denton Orthopedic Surgeon is First in Texas to Implant 'Motion Preserving' Spinal Device to Treat Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, the Most Common Indication for Surgery in Persons Aged over 60 in the United States -- Clinical study info at

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William D. Bradley M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Texas Back Institute, is the first physician in Texas to implant the Stabilimax NZ(R) Dynamic Spine Stabilization System as part of a randomized, controlled, national research study.

My job demands that I stand and walk all day long to take care of four floors of an industrial building

    The research study is comparing posterior dynamic stabilization in patients using the Stabilimax NZ device to patients receiving traditional fusion surgery to treat their Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, a common lower-back disorder where deterioration of the joints and discs leads to increased pressure on the spinal nerves. Dr. Bradley's first patient was 74-year-old maintenance engineer Vernon Bittmann of Wichita Falls, Tex.

"My job demands that I stand and walk all day long to take care of four floors of an industrial building," says Vernon. "About a year or so ago I started hurting so bad in my lower back that I couldn't walk without the assistance of a cane. The pain was awful, and always there. Originally the pain went down my right leg, and then after a while it switched and went down my left leg. Then the pain got so bad in my left leg that I couldn't use it, and the muscles began to waste away. I used the cane and just started draggin' my left leg. To get in my car, I had to reach down and actually pick up my left leg and put it in the car. But I have to work, even at my age, so I just tried to endure the pain and keep on goin' as best I could."

Inevitably, Vernon went to see his primary care physician, who referred him to the Texas Back Institute in Denton, where he met Dr. William Bradley, who determined that Vernon's condition made him eligible to participate in a clinical study of the experimental spinal implant, Stabilimax NZ.

"I had the Stabilimax procedure on June the 8th," recalls Vernon. "Considerin' how tough things used to be for me, it's hard to believe that I'm absolutely fine now. I have aches instead of teeth-gritting pain. I do my exercises with a physical therapist, especially to build up my muscles in the leg that was wasting away on me. I'm physically fit and I don't need a cane anymore. Anybody who has low back pain or leg pain, I strongly recommend them to ask about the Stabilimax study. As far as I'm concerned, it's been a miracle for me. And Dr. Bradley walks on water in my eyes."

"This new Stabilimax NZ procedure has the potential to reduce pain and suffering for the thousands of seniors like Vernon who suffer from this common spinal condition, Lumbar Spinal Stenosis," says Dr. Bradley.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis is the most common indication for surgery in persons aged over 60 in the United States. It is estimated that as many as 400,000 Americans, most over the age of 60, may already be suffering from the symptoms of LSS (source: American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS)), and this number is expected to grow over the next decade.

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Ronald C. Trahan
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