“Doctors are seeing more and more patients with lumbar stenosis because people are living longer and leading much more active lifestyles into their 60s and 70s; therefore we need this chronically debilitating pain treated,” says Dr. Patrick M. Collalto, M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Hunterdon Orthopedic Institute.. An expert in spine surgery, total joint replacement and arthroscopy of the knee, Collalto says that the X-Stop® Spacer procedure can prevent the need for bigger operations. But he is quick to point out that this procedure may not be for everyone with lumbar stenosis.
“You might discuss this spacer when you meet with your orthopedist,” he says,” but your MRI results may indicate that another treatment may be better.”
In most cases, physicians will begin to treat lumbar stenosis with non-operative procedures that can include medications that will reduce inflammation. Other medications directed at nerve pain may prove helpful, including Lyrica (pregabalin) and Neurontin (gabapentin). Some patients testify to relief from Cortisone injections in the lumbar spine that decrease swelling and inflammation around the nerve tissue. These can be repeated up to three times a year.
If these non-invasive treatments do not work, then surgery may be necessary. Often, these are performed in conjunction with a lumbar fusion.
If you are living with chronic low back pain and weakness, numbness or pain in one or both legs, visit your healthcare provider. There are other disorders that cause similar symptoms, including diabetic neuropathy (a common complication of diabetes), peripheral vascular disease (diseases of the arteries and veins outside the heart and brain) and vascular claudication (pain or cramping in the lower leg due to inadequate blood flow to the muscles). A definitive diagnosis of spinal stenosis can only be made by MRI or CT scan, two advanced tests that will show if nerves in the back are being compressed.
For more information on the X-Stop® Spacer, go to www.xstop.com or call (866) 580-5228 for a free information kit.
Read one woman’s success story with the X-Stop® Spacer in the holiday issue of New Jersey Countryside Magazine, available now at bookstores, on newsstands and by subscription. Click here to get one free bonus issue and save more than 80% on a subscription.