New Procedure Can Relieve Back Pain
Marcie Shindeldecker of Benton Harbor hosted thousands of patrons at the St. Joseph Elks Lodge during her 40-year career. But her leg pain began to interfere with her work, and she couldn’t continue to be on her feet every day. Then Marcie heard about a new procedure, the X-Stop, which could help people with leg pain caused by pinched nerves.
“I had seen a segment on TV about the procedure,” says Marcie. “Then I read more about it, and my daughter researched it on the computer. It seemed to be exactly what I needed.”
After consulting with her primary care physician, who agreed that the procedure sounded promising, Marcie visited Dr. Christian Sikorski of Lake Michigan Neurosurgery.
“I was aware of the X-Stop procedure, and when FDA approval was set, I traveled to North Carolina for training,” says Dr. Sikorski. “Marcie was the right patient for the first X-Stop procedure in our area.”
The X-Stop is a titanium metal implant designed to fit between the vertebrae in the lower back and act as a spacer. The X-Stop remains safely and permanently in place without attaching to bones or ligaments.
“The best candidates for this procedure are people whose leg pain disappears when they sit down,” says Dr. Sikorski. “The X-Stop makes the spine into the same configuration as someone who is seated, thus relieving pressure on the nerves.”
Older patients who can’t tolerate traditional, longer back surgery, which includes a longer hospital stay, are good candidates for the X-Stop. Benefits include a shorter procedure; potentially faster recovery, as no bone or soft tissues are
removed; and the option of local anesthesia. The X-Stop is also fully reversible, so it doesn’t limit any future treatment options.
“I took pain pills for only three days,” says Marcie. “I haven’t had any pain in my lower legs since the procedure. Before, I couldn’t walk for any length of time; even from the car to my house was difficult. Now, I take a walk on the bluff every day, and I don’t wake up at night with leg pain.
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