Walking pain-free again after the Vertiflex™ procedure†

Aug 31, 2022
Burton and Julie, an older white couple in sunglasses and baseball hats wearing medals around their necks after completing a 5K walk. Burton, standing on the right, had undergone the Vertiflex Procedure two months earlier to treat disabling back pain.
Burton and his wife, Julie, at the Florida St. Pete Beach Classic Wendy Johnson 5K in January, 2022. Burton walked and finished the 5K less than two months after his Vertiflex Procedure.

A former Navy man. A diver. An avid football player and recreational basketball player. An active father. Burton was always doing something and admits he’s not someone who finds it easy to sit still. This was never an issue until his back pain started in the early 1990s.

Not willing to give up his active lifestyle, Burton got injections in his back for decades, which he had varying success with. While he’s slowed down a little with age, he has always been able to engage in lower-impact activities, such as walking, to stay active.

About two years ago, while walking on his beloved beach in Florida, a piercing pain in his hip left him unable to walk for more than 25 feet without needing to sit, rest, and recover. The pain was so intense that his life changed completely. He could no longer walk the beach or play with his grandchildren and great grandchild, and he thought he needed a hip replacement.

He managed on his own for a few weeks, and when he returned to his home in West Virginia, Burton saw his orthopedist, who surprised him by saying he didn’t actually need a hip replacement. “It’s not your hip – it’s your back!” Burton remembers hearing.

Addressing the underlying causes of pain

“Nearly 65 million Americans report a recent episode of back pain, and around 16 million adults experience persistent or chronic back pain that limits their everyday activities,”[i] explained Nilesh Patel, M.D., vice president of Medical Affairs, Boston Scientific, Neuromodulation. “While traditional standard-of-care therapies like physical therapy and steroids can help, they are simply short-term band-aids and patients need solutions that can actually address the underlying cause, not just the symptoms.”

As luck would have it, Burton’s wife Julie read a brochure for the Vertiflex™ Procedure†[ii] in her doctor’s office, and Burton made an appointment for an evaluation. After a few doctor visits, images of him doing various activities, and an MRI, Burton was diagnosed with moderate lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), a condition that causes the spaces in your spine to narrow, which can put pressure on the nerves that travel through your spine, causing pain in your back and legs, along with numbness. He was deemed a candidate for the Vertiflex Procedure, and preparations began immediately.

Back on his feet again

Because of insurance, it took a bit of effort to get approval and access to the therapy, but once that was secured and the procedure was done, the effects were instant. Burton was up and walking shortly thereafter and was easing back into his daily routine only a week later. A few weeks after that, he returned to walking up to four miles a day on hard surfaces.

Burton and Julie then participated in a local 5K race in Florida. He completed the race walking, and when he crossed the finish line, he was full of emotion. “I’m 75 years old and I haven’t stopped doing anything I wanted to do my whole life. To be stopped like I was before this procedure was so difficult for me. Being able to walk again and cross that finish line without pain meant so much to me.”

Burton is looking forward to getting back down to Florida this winter so he can be back in his happy place, walking on his favorite beach. “It makes me feel good that I can share my story and help others,” Burton said. “For anyone that has leg, buttock, or groin pain – with or without back pain – I would recommend they consult with their doctor to find out if they are a candidate for this procedure.”[iii]

Learn more about lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) and pain relief solutions.

[i] Georgetown University. McCourt School of Public Policy. Health Policy Institute. “Chronic Back Pain.” Accessed on Aug. 4, 2022.

[ii] Vertfilex™ Procedure† The Superion Indirect Decompression System (IDS)

[iii] Results from case studies are not necessarily predictive of results in other cases. Results in other cases may vary.