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What is X-STOP?

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X-STOP Interspinous Process Decomposition System is an implant that reduces symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis, the narrowing of the passages of the spinal cord and nerves. The X-STOP device is made from titanium alloy and fits between the spinous processes of the lower spine, as detailed by U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The device includes a spacer assemble and a wing assembly.

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During the implantation procedure, the surgeon fits the X-STOP device between the spinous processes behind the lumbar vertabra that lumbar stenosis affects, says Spine-health. It prevents a patent's back from hyper-extending at the narrowed segment, which may cause pain in the legs or in the lower back, but still allows forward bending and rotation of the lower back to some extent.

The X-STOP device is best for patients aged 50 years and above, suffering from cramping in the legs after a confirmed diagnosis of lumbar spinal stenosis. Surgeons also implant it in patients with impaired physical function who find symptomatic relief by flexion after they have received at least six months of nonoperative treatment, according to the FDA.

X-STOP is contraindicated in people with widespread stenotic changes in the lumbar spine, severe osteoporosis, blood infection and allergy to titanium or its alloys, according to Spine-health. Its design allows it to remain permanently in position without any attachment to the bones and ligaments in the back, according to Medtronic.

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