GHS is First in NC to Implant Orthopaedic Superion™ Device

August 31, 2009

GHS is First in NC to Implant Orthopaedic Superion™ Device

OXFORD, NC (August 31, 2009) – Granville Health System (GHS) announced that orthopaedic surgeon Ralph Liebelt, M.D. recently performed the first procedure in the state to treat leg pain and numbness caused by lumbar spinal stenosis using the Superion™ Interspinous Spacer (ISS) from Vertiflex Inc. The procedure was performed at Granville Medical Center.

Liebelt’s surgery is part of a clinical study that evaluates the safety and effectiveness of the Superion ISS for the treatment of leg pain caused by moderate lumbar spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis, the degenerative narrowing of the spaces in the spine that can lead to spinal cord and/or nerve root compression, is believed to be the cause of leg and back pain for nearly 1.2 million Americans.

The study compares the Superion ISS to the X-Stop® device, a similar product which is currently available in the United States. Patients who meet the program’s criteria and agree to participate in the study will be randomly chosen to receive either the X-Stop or the Superion device and will be evaluated at specific follow-up visits for 24 months after the surgery.

A possible alternative to traditional spinal surgery, the device can potentially act as a support column to open the passageways through which the nerve roots travel from the lumbar spine to the legs. Chronic pain in the lower back region along with the radiating leg pain that often accompanies it is typically treated with physical therapy and other noninvasive therapies. When such treatments no longer provide relief, patients may be offered a surgical procedure.

The intent of the Superion ISS is to provide patients with a minimally invasive surgical technique performed through a single, half-inch incision that is designed to stabilize the affected level(s) while allowing the patient to move without significant restriction.

Surgical sites throughout the United States will be implanting the Superion ISS as part of this clinical study. Liebelt is part of a select group of prominent spine surgeons who have been chosen to participate in the study.

Granville Health System was chosen as the site for this study because of the hospital’s past success in working with Dr. Liebelt and the experienced staff available at Granville Medical Center. “Granville Health System is a very responsive organization,” said Liebelt. “The staff maintains a high level of professionalism and the facility offers excellent support in the field of orthopaedic surgery.”

In fact, Granville Health System was recently awarded the 2009 five-star rating of excellence for quality outcomes in total hip replacement from HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent health care ratings organization. The outstanding score sets Granville Health System as the top provider for this orthopaedic service in the Triangle area, including Oxford, Henderson, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary and Smithfield.

Liebelt is affiliated with Triangle Orthopaedic Associates’ offices in Oxford and Durham. For more information on this study, call Lynn V. Kamm, Clinical Research Coordinator, at (919) 281-1784.