Interspinous Process Decompression – X-STOP®

In this min­i­mal­ly-inva­sive out­pa­tient pro­ce­dure, usu­al­ly per­formed under local anes­the­sia and seda­tion, a tita­ni­um alloy device is implant­ed to relieve back pain and numb­ness in the legs caused by lum­bar spinal steno­sis. This pro­ce­dure is an alter­na­tive to laminec­to­my or spinal fusion. The patient is placed face down or on her side, and the area is cleaned and ster­il­ized. The pro­ce­dure may be per­formed under gen­er­al anes­the­sia, or with seda­tion and local anes­the­sia. A small inci­sion is made in the low­er back. An open­ing is cre­at­ed through the lig­a­ments at the rear of the spine. The physi­cian can now access the spin­ous process­es, the bony pro­tru­sions on the back of the spine, above and below the dam­aged disc. Using flu­o­ro­scop­ic guid­ance, the sur­geon uses a siz­ing dis­trac­tor to cre­ate space between the spin­ous process­es. The X‑STOP® implant is insert­ed through the inci­sion and placed between the spin­ous process­es. If the patient is con­scious dur­ing the pro­ce­dure, she may be asked to bend her back to cre­ate more space in the spine for the implant. The inci­sion is closed with sutures and a ban­dage is applied. Patients typ­i­cal­ly can leave the hos­pi­tal with­in 24 hours. Stren­u­ous phys­i­cal activ­i­ty should be avoid­ed for two to six weeks. Phys­i­cal ther­a­py may be required.