Healthcare Industry News:  lumbar spinal stenosis 

Devices Orthopaedic

 News Release - October 18, 2007

Back Pain Milestone: Tennessee Orthopedic Surgeon is First to Implant Two-Level 'Motion Preserving' Spinal Device to Treat Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, the Most Common Indication for Surgery in Persons Aged over 60 in the United States

BRISTOL, Tenn.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Morgan Lorio, M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Neuro-Spine Solutions, Bristol, Tenn., is the first physician in the United States to implant the Stabilimax NZ® Dynamic Spine Stabilization System across two spinal segments as part of a randomized, controlled, national research study. The research study is comparing posterior dynamic stabilization in patients using the Stabilimax NZ device to patients receiving traditional fusion surgery to treat their lumbar spinal stenosis, a common lower-back disorder where deterioration of the joints and discs leads to increased pressure on the spinal nerves.

Dr. Lorio’s first patient requiring stabilization of two levels was a 68-year-old retired nurse (“Barbara”). When she would try to walk, she would move forward an inch, literally, at a time, because of the excruciating pain that would start in her lower back and run through her legs. When she was asked to be the first person in Tennessee—indeed, in the world—to receive a new, "motion-preserving" two-level spinal surgery at Bristol (Tenn.) Regional Medical Center, she didn't hesitate, because the pain in her lower back and legs was, in fact, debilitating.

Barbara’s procedure was performed recently as part of an ongoing research study of the Stabilimax NZ device.

Dr. Lorio could have treated Barbara with a traditional "spinal fusion"—a common surgical remedy for those with chronic back and leg pain—but Dr. Lorio said that even a good outcome after a spinal fusion can decrease a patient's mobility. He should know. He's had spinal fusion surgery himself. He was searching for a much less-invasive surgical procedure to minimize trauma to her back and help her return, finally, to the activities of daily life, without constant and agonizing pain.

Dr. Lorio performed a three-hour procedure on Barbara at Bristol Regional, implanting the Stabilimax NZ across two levels of spinal vertebrae. The Stabilimax NZ spinal stabilization system, which is currently available for investigational use only, had never before been implanted in a patient in Tennessee, and never before, anywhere, across two vertebrae. Indeed, Dr. Lorio was the first surgeon in the world to perform the investigational two-vertebrae procedure, and he is conducting additional procedures with the Stabilimax NZ as part of the ongoing Stabilimax NZ research study.

"This new Stabilimax NZ procedure has the potential to reduce pain and suffering for the millions of baby boomers who suffer from this common spinal condition, lumbar spinal stenosis," says Dr. Lorio.

lumbar spinal stenosis is the most common indication for surgery in persons aged over 60 in the United States. It is estimated that as many as 400,000 Americans, most over the age of 60, may already be suffering from the symptoms of LSS [source: American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS)], and this number is expected to grow over the next decade.

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Source: Ronald Trahan Associates

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