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Patients suffering from spinal stenosis may benefit from a new treatment now available at the Neuroscience Institute at Virginia Mason. The procedure, using a surgical implant called X STOP, is much less invasive than traditional surgeries and provides new hope for patients who have not been able to manage their pain with non-surgical options.

The X STOP is a titanium metal implant that fits between two bones called spinous processes in the lower back. It is designed to remain safely and permanently in place without attaching to the bone or ligaments of the back. Implanted using Interspinous Process Decompression, or IPD, there is no removal of bone or soft tissue. The X STOP implant is not positioned close to the nerves or spinal canal, but rather behind the spinal canal between the bony spinous process.

IPD offers several benefits compared to traditional surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis:

  • The option of local anesthesia
  • Typically an outpatient procedure lasting 30 minutes to an hour 
  • Usually no removal of bone or soft tissue, allowing for potentially quicker recovery 
  • Fully reversible procedure that does not limit any future non-surgical and surgical treatment options

The X STOP is typically for patients 50 or older who have lumbar spinal stenosis with moderately impaired ability to function, who experience relief from their symptoms when bending forward. Patients receiving X STOP should have already been under a physician’s care and getting non-surgical treatment for their symptoms for at least six months.

For more information or a consultation regarding IPD and the X STOP implant, please contact the Neuroscience Institute at (206) 223-7525.

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