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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,002
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 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
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  • 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

  • is the name of the devise my ns used on me.
  • "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
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  • 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
  • Thanks for all your comments. I'm going to be getting yet another opinion in a month or so, so I can ask about this then. I guess I'd be little concerned about durability of the device, but with my disc problem and the pain, I'm already living like someone over 50 in terms of physical activity unfortunately. I'll keep everyone posted if I learn anything else interesting when I see the next doc.
  • I just reviewed my medical records - part of the doc's reasoning in recommending xstop for me was to get some pressure off the disc, in addition to opening up some space for my nerve. He noted that some evidence from Europe showing xstop could be useful in treating discogenic pain (maybe that explains how you got it, Dorset Boy?).
  • dcguy, my spinal surgeon was unkeen to go for a three level fusion given that I had not long turned 37 at the time as thesucess %age rates drop severely once you go for a 3 level fusion & he always said that the xstop would give me relief & space for the nerves & some flex at this level. db
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