J. Abbott Byrd, III, M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center, is the first spine surgeon in Virginia to implant the Stabilimax NZ® Dynamic Spine Stabilization System 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. Byrd’s first patient was 83-year-old Elizabeth Williams.
“I had never had back pain before,” says Elizabeth. “But all of a sudden I had it, starting in the summer of 2006, and for more than a year thereafter my life was limited to sitting on my sofa all day, every day, with my leg propped up to alleviate the pain. If I had to move around I had to use a wheelchair. I couldn’t go out to yard sales and shopping with my daughter; I couldn’t walk down the hallway of my apartment building and socialize the way I always had. I was leading a very depressing existence.”
Elizabeth had three epidural injections in her spine during the course of a year in an attempt to relieve her pain without surgery. “I didn’t look forward to them,” admits Elizabeth. “And as soon as the injections wore off, the pain came right back and stayed with me.”
Eventually, Elizabeth’s primary care physician referred her to the Atlantic Orthopedic Specialists in Virginia Beach, where she met Dr. Byrd, who determined that Elizabeth’s condition made her eligible to participate in a clinical study of the experimental spinal implant, Stabilimax NZ.
“I had the Stabilimax procedure on June 29th last year,” recalls Elizabeth. “I was walking around without any pain whatsoever the very next morning after the procedure. I didn’t have to get any refills on my pain medicine that Dr. Byrd prescribed for me. I tell you I am a new woman,” insists Elizabeth. “I can walk up and down my hallway and socialize with everybody without any help. I go to yard sales and shopping now with my daughter. I can get around now without using any support. I’m only wearing a soft brace when I’m out walking or shopping. And don’t forget I’m 83 years old. But I’m doing fantastic! Like I said, I’m a whole new woman now.”
“This new Stabilimax NZ procedure has the potential to reduce pain and suffering for the thousands of seniors like Elizabeth who suffer from this common spinal condition, Lumbar Spinal Stenosis,” says Dr. Byrd.
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 , and this number is expected to grow over the next decade.
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis