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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
I had a L4/L5 microdiscectomy last May, which seemed to fix the sciatica in both legs till about August when the sciatica returned. The post-surgery MRI showed some scarring but no reherniation. Since then I had some epidurals and have been taking meds to deal with the pain - the assumption by my pain management doc was that the scarring was the problem.

However, two docs I spoke with (one neuro, one ortho) commented that my post-surgery MRI showed a lot of disc still compressing the nerve and that more disc/bone could have been taken out to relieve pressure on the nerve. One of the docs was conservative and suggested living with it (I'd be miserable but safe from surgical mishaps), the other suggested doing a microdiscectomy and using an xstop spacer to keep room open for the nerve (he guessed 60% chance of improvement). He acknowledged that I'd be his youngest xstop patient ever (I'm 35).


(1) Has anyone on the board had success with xstop? Of course, I'm also curious to know if people have had bad luck with it, too.

(2) Since xstop is approved for patients over 50, has anyone younger had it suggested to them as an option? I was surprised when the doc proposed it to me.

(3) Any other thoughts people have?



  • I had an x stop put in just over two & a bit years ago when I was 37, this was along with a two level fusion. My surgeon was hesitant to do a full three level fusion due to my young age & i was advised that this would still give some flex to the upper end of the three level section they were working on. Post Op no issues things were going great & the grafts were taking. I foolishly then re-injured myself! two & a bit years on in a sh**ty state again but not due to the X stop or the fusion.
    I'm UK based & have not heard any comments on the X stop being used on older people ie over 50's, it was given as something they use. I have actually held an xstop as just before my surgery someone had dropped one during an op & of course it couldn't then be used - looks a bit scary but does the job for me!!
    Good luck with things, db
  • I was very exciting about the X-Stop when I first read about it, and thought it would be the solution to my problems. Turns out I had spondylolisthesis and therefore, was not a candidate.

    You are correct that in the U.S. it is almost always used in the older patient population -- not even the 50+ but more like the over 60 crowd. I don't have a clue why that is, but I think it has something to do with the X-Stop not being a "permanent" solution. I think they assume that the younger population is more physically active and the X-Stop was not designed to be used for really active people who are playing a lot sports, twisting, jumping, etc.

    I would suggest you get another opinion from a fellowship-trained spinal specialist. Maybe you will find a third option! Otherwise, it might be worth trying the X-Stop. It is easily removed if it doesn't work out....
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  • I really have never heard of the xstop being used on older people only & certainly not being a permanent solution. But I have to admit overall we do not get as much choice or information as other countries offer!! thats the good old NHS in the UK for you!!!!
    Mind you this info would not have stopped me having the surgery done, I was far too desperate to be pain free. db
  • This is from the manufacturer's website:

    If you can answer yes to all of the following statements, you’re ready to take the next step.
    I am 50 years of age or older.
    I have been diagnosed with and suffer from the symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS).
    My pain is relieved when I sit down or lean forward.
    I have been in treatment for LSS for at least 6 months.

    I'm not saying it is NOT for people younger than 50. I just had investigated it when it was first approved for use and knew that it was designed for "older" patients as an alternative to fusion in the older population. Maybe they are now finding that it is a long-lasting solution and are now recommending it for younger patients as well.

    Looks like we will soon have our own version of NHS. :S
  • i'm 2 days post op from having an inerspinal devise like the x-stop put in between l2 l3 my ns quit using the x-stop due to problems with it having too much movement or comeing loose. he has since changed to another device (i can't rember the name of it right now, but when my wife gets back from the store i'll ask her.) this inerspinal devise has a better way of staying in place & the ns said he has had great success with it. of course my surgery was on wednesday & i can't say if it's doing the job or not because the meds are covering up my symptoms. i just got back from a 1/2 mile walk & the only pain i'm feeling is from the insision.
    you might want to do some reading here https://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2226191
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  • is the name of the devise my ns used on me.

  • As in any procedure, the failure rate goes up when the patients are not carefully screened for the particular procedure. If you look at the title of the abstract you mentioned, it is for the use of the X-stop in patients who have spondylolisthesis as a cause of their stenosis. Having spondylolisthesis is a disqualifier for having the X-Stop implanted. It was never designed to accommodate that condition....and it states that clearly in all information pertaining to the X-Stop.

    I'm glad you're happy with the results of your procedure and hope that it will provide you years of pain-free living.
  • "Looks like we will soon have our own version of NHS."
    What is this about - I haven't heard anything about this, this side of "the pond". Trust me you really don't want it. In theory it is great, go into A&E & get treated for free as an emergency. Need an "non urgent" op & this is a different kettle of fish. Each county (state) could have several different Primary Care Trusts & depending on the size of it & the demographics of the population they can be tight on money for funding - my PCT is mainly retired people & they have a very tight budget & I have found that I have had to wait months & months for appointments to see a spinal surgeon or even to get to a pain management clinic. Last time I saw a surgeon at clinic was 13 months ago & desite my GP reporting I am having problems & have new undiagnosed back pain i am not scheduled to see anyone! Again last time I was at pain clinic was July 2nd last year & only getting to go back in two weeks time on the 17th March as i have kicked off big time - they were hoping to leave me until may time before brining me back in! I could see people next week if I could pay for it privately - which I can't afford to do an MRI scan would cost between £650-1000 a time & a private consult with my spinal surgeon £200. I know I sound very bitter & twisted about this, but after a while the waiting & lack of coomunication really gets to you. I work as best I can & pay my taxes! DB
  • before I go - i'm at work ! i've never been told that I have or might have lumber spinal stenosis!, just that I had three crumbling discs! DB
  • I really hope this is working for you & all stays well! DB
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