X-Stop Back Surgery for Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis in the lumbar spine, which often causes sciatica, can be treated in some cases through a procedure performed under a local anesthetic where a device called the X-Stop is inserted between the spinous processes at the back of the spine. This device restores intervertebral height and can give patients the same type of relief from nerve compression when standing that they may feel when bending forward. The back surgery is minimally invasive and can effectively remove or postpone the need for more invasive procedures such as discectomy, laminectomy or spinal fusion. This procedure is not appropriate in the thoracic or cervical spine due to the anatomical variation and usual location of spinal nerve and cord compression in these regions.
X-Stop is unlikely to be helpful in cases where a patient’s spinal stenosis is in the foramen and the spinal nerves are being pinched as they exit the lumbar spine. In these cases a foraminotomy is usually considered more appropriate. The X-Stop procedure can be performed at an outpatient clinic and is popular for patients with sciatic nerve pain who have busy lives and are unable to make time for a more extensive back surgery with a more protracted recovery. The operation is usually performed under a local anaesthetic and patients can return home the same day with a brief rest period before returning to work and normal activities. There is little risk of spinal nerve damage or spinal cord injury with the X-Stop procedure as the device is fitted in the back of the spinal column with no need to impact the tissues deeper into the spinal canal.
Continue Reading –> Laminectomy, Laminotomy, or Laminoplasty for Spinal Stenosis