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X-STOP Procedure

Dr. Christian Sikorski of Lake Michigan Neurological Surgery in St. Joseph, Michigan has performed southwest Michigan’s first X-STOP procedure, an alternative to conventional decompression surgery. For some patients with neurogenic claudication secondary to lumbar spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the passages for the spinal cord and nerves, this procedure offers relief. Patients with this affliction may find it difficult to walk due to severe pain, numbness, and weakness in the buttocks, thighs, and legs.

The X-STOP® Interspinous Process Decompression System (X-STOP) can be used to relieve the symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis and neurogenic claudication. The X-STOP titanium alloy implant has a spacer assembly designed to fit between the spinous processes, and a wing assembly which prevents the implant from moving. Thus the X-STOP® remains safely and permanently in place without attaching to bones or ligaments. “The best candidate for this procedure is a person aged 50 or older who is suffering from pain or cramping in the legs, and who experience relief when flexing their legs or sitting down,” said Dr. Sikorski. “

The X-STOP molds the spine into the same configuration as someone who is seated, thus relieving pressure on the nerves, offering alievement of pain, and improving the patients ability to function."

The X-STOP procedure may also benefit older patients who cannot tolerate traditional, longer back surgery, which includes a longer hospital stay. Compared to traditional surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis, the X-STOP procedure does not include the removal of bone or soft tissues, thereby offering the benefit of a quicker recovery, the option of local anesthesia, and surgery in the outpatient setting. The X-STOP is also fully reversible and does not limit any future surgical and non-surgical treatment options.

A two-year study of clinical trials published by Spine1 showed that X-STOP patients improved by 45.4% over the mean baseline Symptom Severity score, compared with 7.4% in the control group. The mean improvement in the Physical Function area was 44.3% in the X-STOP group and -0.4% in the control group. Of the X-STOP patients, 73.1% were satisfied with their treatment, versus 35.9% of control patients. For more information on the X-STOP procedure and to schedule a consult, contact Lake Michigan Neurological Surgery at (269) 556-1990.

1. Spine, Volume 30, Number 12, pp 1351 – 1358,
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. 2005.

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