Some restrictions and guidelines are applicable in terms of whether or not someone should consider surgery at all, and some guidelines and restrictions that are applicable just to the X-stop. See The X-STOP: A Spinal Stenosis Surgery for a more complete review of clinical indications and contraindications outlining criteria for when a patient may or may not be a candidate for the X-STOP procedure.
As with all newer surgical devices, the specific indications of when the X-STOP is likely to be most effective have not been completely researched or established. For example, it has not yet been established if the X-STOP is equally or more effective:
- For addressing symptoms of foraminal stenosis (stenosis around the nerve root as it leaves the spine) or for central stenosis (stenosis within the spinal canal).
- For treating two levels of the spine versus one level.
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At this time, when compared to a laminectomy, the X-STOP technique has less clear indications.
Another factor in the effectiveness of the X-STOP is individual surgeon experience and skill with the device. For almost all types of surgery, a surgeon who has more experience in implanting the device in a lot of patients tends to be more likely to have better outcomes as he or she has more experience with the procedure.
While the X-STOP has been demonstrated to be clearly successful in achieving pain reduction in many patients, as with any surgery, it is important for patients to be educated about all of the considerations of the surgery – and their other treatment options - when making their decision.