Miami Spine Institute
Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is a narrowing of the spinal canal that occurs in the lower part of the spine (lumbar region).
The problem with a narrowed spinal canal is that it reduces the space allowed for nerves to exit from the spinal canal. When a nerve in the lower back becomes pinched, it can cause pain, tingling, weakness, or numbness that radiates from the lower back into the buttocks and legs.
There are two types of LSS, degenerative (age related) and congenital (present at birth). Degenerative LSS develops slowly and usually affects people in their 50s or 60s. Symptoms generally occur over several years and gradually get worse. However, individual symptoms and symptom severity vary from person to person.
What causes LSS?
In a healthy spine, there is sufficient space for nerves to exit from the spinal canal and travel to the rest of the body. Aging and everyday wear and tear on the lower spine can cause a number of changes that narrow the spinal canal area resulting in a pinched nerve.
Changes to the discs
Discs are elastic pads of cartilage located between the vertebrae. Healthy discs cushion the bones and act as shock absorbers. Aging can cause the disc to dry out, wear down, or thin. An injury can cause the disc to become swollen and protrude between the vertebrae and into the spinal canal. These changes to the shape and structure of the disc can narrow the spinal canal.
A worn-out disc can also cause one vertebra to slide over the one below it. This condition, called spondylolisthesis, can also narrow the spinal canal.
Changes to the bone structure
Loss of cartilage between joints in the spine and other changes can cause bony projections to form along the joints. These bony formations, called osteophytes or bone spurs, can grow into and narrow the spinal canal area.
Changes to the ligamentum flavum
A large, long elastic band of soft tissue, called the ligamentum flavum, runs along the inside of the spinal canal. It connects the vertebrae to one another and helps provide spinal stability. Aging can cause the ligament to lose elasticity and become coarse and thicken. These changes can cause the ligament to take up more space in the spinal canal reducing the room available for the spinal cord or spinal nerves.
Back and leg pain from lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) occurs when the space between the vertebrae is reduced, causing bone or tissue to come in contact with the spinal nerve. Most people with LSS get relief from pain when they bend forward or sit down. That’s because this position opens the space around the pinched nerve. The X-STOP Spacer uses this principle and can provide sustained relief even when you stand up straight and walk.
Lifting the pressure off of pinched nerves relieves pain
The X-STOP Spacer is a small implant that fits between two bones in the back of your spine at the level of the pinched nerve. You can feel these bones, called the spinous processes, when you run your fingers down your spine. Once in place, the X-STOP Spacer can lift the vertebra off the pinched nerve. Learn more about your spine and the causes of nerve damage.
Sustained pain relief even when you stand and walk
The unique X-STOP Spacer is designed to stay safely and permanently in place without being attached to bone or ligaments, by screws or other hardware, and there’s no fusion involved. It works with your spinal anatomy to keep the space around the nerve open and can relieve your pain and other symptoms even when you stand up straight and walk. With the X-STOP Spacer you should not need to bend forward to relieve your symptoms.
The X-STOP Spacer may relieve the kinds of pain and discomfort caused by LSS:
- Dull or aching back pain that travels to your legs
- Numbness and a pins-and-needles sensation in your legs, calves, or buttocks
For more information, please visit the website http://www.xstopspacer.com/