New device to treat spinal stenosis offered at UCLA

New device to treat spinal stenosis offered at UCLA

Back pain is a huge problem. If you look at the statistics, it affects 90% of the population in the world at some point in their lifetime. It’s a huge problem, not just in our country, but worldwide. There are other diseases, they get a lot more press, you see them on the news because they are more dramatic, but back pain by and large affects almost every American and everyone throughout the world. There are many causes of back pain. One of the most common causes is arthritis in the discs and arthritis in the facet joints, and this is the spinal column right in here. There’s pressure on the nerves that is a part of the spinal anatomy, and it’s actually the joint between each spinal segment. So when there’s motion, this joint moves. When it becomes diseased, motion and that facet can cause pain. But instead of doing a traditional fusion or you put bone graft material in there, we put screws with rigid rods, and it mobilizes the segment for forever. We are trying to preserve motion of that segment. This is a representation of a traditional fusion. There is a solid rod on each side, connected from a screw from one segment to the next, and I don’t know if you can appreciate it, but when we move the spine, there’s absolutely no motion at this segment because it’s fused, and that could be a problem because it may put more stress at the level above and at the level below. This is an example of the new device. This is the facet replacement. The facets are the joints between the different segments, and this is a normal facet. This is a normal facet, and this is actually a recreation of the normal facet, and as you move the spine, you can see that there’s still motion there, so this replacement of the facet has recreated the anatomical alignment of the normal facet joint, which allows for normal motion of the spine so the spine can still move. There is preservation of the motion, and it does not put additional stress at the level above or the level below, but we’re replacing these facet joints rather than fusing them. When we fuse them, we stop the motion, which is not natural for the spine. This new device, we’re preserving motion, so that the patient can go back to their normal activities, and with the preservation of the motion, there won’t be additional stress at the level above and below. We’re right on the cusp of this type of technology. There are very few devices out there that serve this purpose. We need to explore it. It has a huge potential, and that’s why we’re doing this study. And the most important thing is you want to make sure that you’re the appropriate patient. You want to do the right surgery for that patient’s condition. It’s important to talk to your physician, understand your condition, and see if you’re the appropriate patient. This could be a very exciting time, and I’m very hopeful that this will be a better solution than a lot of the current treatment options that we have.

51 Replies to “New device to treat spinal stenosis offered at UCLA”

  1. is it possible for every american? or only for that one which have insurance?

    also:which material is that invention?

  2. if u do this you have the pain and surgery procedure, then u loose time having to rest for weeks or months after surgery, then you have complications and need another surgery. I think taking painkiller is the best solution for everything.

  3. Hi Dr. Wang,

    I'm not sure if you remember me but we met in Athens at a Spine convention when I was in college. I just checked out your video on you motion preservation facet replacement device. Wonderful!

  4. Thank you. The surgeons are opening my entire spine on the 20th of this month. I have no choice. I have a major curve in thoracic and my spine is unstable again. I also have degenerative disc and joint disease that developed because of these surgeries. It was the first surgeon who cause all of this by operating on a small herniated disc that should have been left alone for just physical therapy.

  5. What they are saying is true. This is another reason I must have the surgery. But you are correct, this device will not work in my circumstances.

  6. The reason maybe you hear nothing more of this device the relative motion of metal and flesh together will not work (inflammatory). Maybe if it was made of some kind of rubber like substance that can stretch back and forth to stop the relational rubbing between the body tissue and the device (sort of like an artificial tendon covering it) so it will live in harmony inside the body.

  7. There is a clinical trial going on for a facet replacement system at this link –

  8. It's very important you speak to a Spinal Orthopedist/ Neurosurgeon and PAIN MANAGMENT prior to surgery to help you out till you can have your surgery.

  9. It really is very crazy times we live in…I was just watching a video on clinical trials involving stem cells borrowed directly from patients bone marrow and using injections that apply the bone marrow directly into region of disc and facet joint damage and it FREAKINS HEALLS IT MAN!!! I thought this stuff is baloney but its NOT! What the hell is going on? This basically would mean that we'd never have to worry about adjacent disc degeneration at all since the body would use it's own stem cell to "repair" itself.

  10. well my normal activities are mixed martial arts, gymnastics, and dirt bike riding. I've been miserable since I can't do the things I love. I'm in agony. 31 is too young for this shit.

  11. When will this actually be available, and how many surgeons will actually know how to do it? UCLA: could you answer, please? Thanks.

  12. Would Spondylitis be a option for that? As in ankylosing spondylitis didn't want you to think I was confusing spondylosis or Spondylitities which I have both of those too. Severe facet disease now I haven't been diagnosed long enough and no one's explain to me is that part of the Spondylitis or is that mechanical I don't know and a lot more….but obviously I'm not going to put It all….study that means I could get in the study.??? Just a little brief thing I was misdiagnosed with mechanical back pain for 12 years after all my research brought me to the correct diagnosis which was a real world renowned rheumatologist for spondyloarthropathies. but I believe or I've Been Told I'm double whammy some of the crap that's wrong in my spine has nothing to do with the Spondylitis I don't want to go into all of that. In 2008 before I knew I had Spondylitis the neurosurgeons told me I needed a 2 level Fusion not only in my neck but my lumbar too and that my spine was too bad to do any other type of surgery except 2 level Fusion at both places I was on the fence for a year did a lot of research I decided against either one. And like I said they did not know I had Spondylitis and neither did I at that point probably had it since I was a 12 year old girl started with horrid tailbone pain that would come and go at 12 but I am in excruciating pain all the way down below my lumbar all the way to my neck and both shoulders 24/7 for the last 15 years straight so man if this could help me cuz I've been thinking about revisiting the the surgical Fusion I've tried just about everything I'm sick and tired of pain medicine that doesn't take it all away by any means it makes it more bearable is all I did a radio wave albation in the lumbar it did help for a little while with the intense throbbing but not with other issues just in that one spot epidurals do nothing for me at all !!!!I could go on and on and on so this really interest me please get back to me thank you in advance.

  13. , now I want to mention I became totally disabled it only 46 freaking years old after transverse process fracture L3 which I kept telling the doctors that it was broken I knew it was a thought I was a crazy person they did see tease and everything was not seeing till eight years later when I moved back home to Colorado and it was there plain as day old transverse process fracture L3 you know had that have been took care of and stabilized maybe the Spondylitis would not have progressed in my whole entire spine but you know what can I do now anyway just wanted to add that to my other comment thank you look forward to hearing something back about the study and how I can get in it or if I can get in it thanks again

  14. I had a quadrupedal laminectomy, with removal of bone spurs, and it was life saving. The recovery sucked, and took longer then 10 days. But I can walk, move up and down. Thank goodness for the people who came before me who had the courage to go through the first few operations so we can be the beneficiaries. Legs had screaming pain, feet went numb.
    I would have been wheelchair bound otherwise.

  15. Wow, this is VERY inspiring….I cant even stand up properly bc of lower back pain, and instability (two adr's in neck, need one more segment treated in neck)

  16. I have a spinal stenosis L2/L3.Bad sciatic pain down both legs when standing.I sit most of the time. Would this device work for me.I badly need decompression surgery to give me my life back.An epidural injection last November did not work.

  17. I see a lot of you asking if this would work in c this or l that, truth is you must go to your spine dr and they’ll do an MRI and an x- ray to see if you’re a candidate and there must be enough stable bone there to support it. I’ve talked to my dr about this and am going thru this process… oh and be prepared to be denied by your insurance company as well.. sorry.. just my experience

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