Features October 2010 Issue

Spinal Stenosis: Three Ways to Pain Relief

A recently approved device can help relieve the symptoms of spinal pain, but it’s not for everyone.

Spinal decompression has been promoted for the relief of lumbar spinal stenosis since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the cervical disc implant X Stop several years ago. The implant is placed between the spinous processes—the thin projections from the back of the spinal bones to which muscle and ligaments are attached—in the lumbar spine. It’s designed to treat patients 50 and older suffering from pain or cramping in the legs secondary to a diagnosis of lumbar spinal stenosis. Two similar implants are now undergoing FDA review, but "functionally, they’re all the same," says Douglas Orr, MD, a staff physician in the Center for Spine Health and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Cleveland Clinic.

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