My wife is going to have a new procedure called X Stop for spinal stenosis. I'm planning to take off work to help take care of her afterwards. What should I expect?
The X Stop in a tiny device that is implanted between the spinous processes of two vertebrae. The spinous process is the knobby projection that comes off the back of the spine. This is where many muscles and ligaments attach.

By putting this device in place, the spinal segment is held in a position that decompresses or takes pressure off the spinal nerves. It is a minimally invasive procedure. There is very little blood loss. The muscles are not cut open so the recovery time is fairly rapid.

In some centers, patients are admitted the night before and go home the next day (day of the operation). In other surgical centers, the patient is in and out the same day (within 23 hours).

If they feel up to it, patients are allowed to walk right away. Many people start getting up and moving about the next day. It's usually safe to go home if someone is there to assist the patient. They really shouldn't go home alone the first day.

Unless there are some unusual complications, you can expect to see your wife getting up and moving about freely the day after the operation. Patients are free to resume normal activities, as they are able. Motion is not limited but lifting is restricted.