5 October: Q&A with Mr Robert Dunsmuir

Three years ago I developed lumbar spinal stenosis following a fall at work. I have since suffered chronic back pain and had to stop playing golf, which was my passion. I’m a 61-year-old man. I read about a new procedure called ‘X-Stop Spacer’ and would like to know if this treatment option might be suitable for my condition. Please help. I’m desperate to get my life back.

Mr Robert Dunsmuir, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Spire Leeds Hospital

The causes of low back pain are many and therefore attract various treatments to try to alleviate the problem.  The underlying principle to therapy is to consider the symptoms, check for physical problems by examining you then deciding if investigations or spinal imaging will add significant information to determine a particular treatment plan.

The X-STOP device has been used for some years now.  Although initially widely used with experience its use is now generally limited to a very small number of indications all of which produce leg pain.  While you continue to suffer with only low back pain this device is unlikely to be of any benefit to you.

Given you have had pain for three years you should be assessed by a spinal specialist (doctor or physiotherapist).  If your specialist diagnoses your symptoms as simple mechanical back pain then physiotherapy to strengthen your core abdominal and back muscles is most likely to help.  Other additional modalities such an epidural pain relieving injections may be of benefit.  Surgery for back pain can also help but the results of these operations are variable, and your specialist will be able to give you more advice if they think surgery is an appropriate option for you.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...

What's up Doc? is brought to you in association with

The material published on this page is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other health care professional.

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)