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Many traditional spine surgeries may now be performed using minimally invasive techniques. AlvaradoHospital is offering a new technology for treating the pain, weakness and numbness associated with lumbar spine stenosis (LSS).

The X-STOP® Interspinous Process Decompression (X-STOP IPD) has undergone extensive clinical study, and is the first device approved in the U.S. for treating the symptoms of LSS.

Lumbar spine stenosis is a narrowing that occurs in the lower part of the spinal canal that carries nerves to the legs. As the space in the lower spine shrinks, the nerves passing through the spinal canal can become squeezed, resulting in pain to the legs, buttocks, groin and, sometimes, back. Patients may also experience numbness, tingling sensations, weakness, loss of balance or decreased endurance for physical activities.

Because standing upright provokes LSS symptoms, the X-STOP IPD system is designed to limit extension of the lumber spine and keep the spinal canal open. During the outpatient procedure, surgeons position the titanium alloy implant directly behind the bony spinous processes of the affected vertebrae. The entire procedure takes between 45 to 90 minutes and is performed under local anesthesia.

In contrast, a conventional laminectomy is an invasive procedure that involves removing parts of the bone and tissue from the spinal canal. It also requires general anesthesia. For this reason, laminectomy is not an option for patients who cannot tolerate general anesthesia because of age and or medical issues.

Artificial disc implants and other minimally invasive surgical procedures typically preserve range of motion with good long-term results. Some patients still require laminectomy, which can be performed minimally invasively. The X-STOP IPD offers:

  • Smaller incision site, less pain, faster healing
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Usually no removal of bone or soft tissue
  • Flexibility (the implant is removable and will not prevent a patient from undergoing surgery at a later time

An Important New Option for Older Adults

Lumbar spine stenosis is the most common cause of back surgery in individuals age 50 and older. Between 1997 and 2004, the number of hospital inpatient diagnoses of lumbar spinal stenosis increased by 46%.

Potential candidates for the X-STOP IPD system include individuals who are:

  • Age 50 or older
  • Have moderately impaired physical function
  • Experience pain relief when bending forward or sitting

"This new procedure fills the gap in the continuum of care that, until now, required my patients to make the leap from conservative therapies such as pain management medications and physical therapy, straight to invasive surgery like laminectomy,” said board-certified orthopedic surgeon and spine specialist Dr. Kam Raiszadeh.

Dr. Raiszadeh is medical director of the Advanced Spine Institute & Minimally Invasive Spine Center at Alvarado Hospital. He leads an exceptional, multidisciplinary team of experienced medical, surgical and rehabilitation spine specialists who meet regularly to evaluate, diagnose and develop individualized treatment plans. The program also features an 18-bed inpatient unit staffed with nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists who have advanced training in spine care.

For more information or questions about the Advanced Spine Institute, call 1-800-ALVARADO (1-800-258-2723).