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Goin’ Fishing Means Something Again for X-STOP® Patient Roy Johnson 

For months, Roy Johnson’s weekly fishing outings were more about swapping stories with his buddies than reeling in the bass and trout at Lake Wolford. Constant and aggravating back pain that radiated down his legs sidelined him from a favorite activity until he learned about the X-STOP® Interspinous Process Decompression (IPD®) System, a new, minimally invasive, FDA-approved surgical technique that relieves the pain associated with lumbar spinal stenosis.

Later that summer, Johnson became the first patient at Palomar Medical Center (PMC) to have X-STOP IPD surgery.

“I was without pain in my legs right after surgery,” said Roy. “Am I happy I did this? You bet I am!”

In 1958, Johnson had a laminectomy with two lower discs fused. Considered the gold standard for decades, laminectomy is a major surgery that requires full anesthesia.

Afterwards, he was hospitalized for three weeks and then wore a brace for about four months. When Johnson compares his experiences with spinal surgery, it’s easy to see how far medical science has advanced.

“It worked well for nearly 50 years,” said Roy. “But when my legs starting hurting all the time again and it became difficult to do the things I enjoy, I decided it was time to take care of it again.”

The Pauma Valley resident turned to Sohaib Kureshi, M.D., a board-certified Palomar Health neurosurgeon who was recommended by a friend who is also a physician. “Dr. Kureshi explained the whole procedure to me and reassured me that I would see a big difference right away. He was right,” said Roy.

“This time, I had local anesthesia and was comfortable during the 45-minute surgery,” he said. “I went home later that day and I immediately noticed that for the first time in months I had no pain in my legs. It was great.”

Since his X-STOP implant surgery two months ago, Johnson has claimed a new lease on life, which he says means being a normal 78-year-old man. He walks several times a week and likes playing with his four great-grandchildren. Best of all, Johnson is once again enjoying fishing with buddies.

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