Wallis Implant

Pain Relief and Intervertebral Disc Rehydration Following Wallis® Interspinous Device Implantation: a Case Report.

Author: Carter R. Mohnssen, B.S.1,2, Kenneth Pettine, MD2, and Nicole Rittenhouse, MA, CCRC2

Author Affiliations:

1 Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

2 The Spine Institute, Loveland, Colorado, USA.

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Corresponding Author: Carter Mohnssen, CarterMohnssen@creighton.edu

Key Words: intervertebral disc degeneration, case reports, orthopedics, therapeutics, biologics



Introduction: Degeneration of the lumbar motion segment is the primary cause of low back pain in many individuals. Therefore, new minimally invasive treatments are being sought.

Patient Profile: A 47-year old man presented with severe low back pain and radicular symptoms of several years duration. Lumbar MRI revealed severe desiccation, loss of disc height, and an annular tear with right lateral disc protrusion at L4-5.

Interventions/Outcomes: After conservative treatment failed, the patient received a Wallis® interspinous spacer at the affected level. 100% subjective pain relief was obtained at 3 months post-op. Nucleus pulposus rehydration on MRI was observed.

Discussion: Controversy exists over whether disc dehydration is a reliable indicator of low back pain; however, interspinous spacers seem to alter abnormal motion segment’s biomechanics in a way that results in alleviation of low back pain and increased range of motion. With the advent of biologic therapy, this may provide an intriguing minimally invasive treatment modality, although further research is needed.


Published on date: August, 2016


DOI: 10.15404/msrj/04.2016.0006

Citation: Mohnssen, C. Pain relief and intervertebral disc rehydration following Wallis interspinous device implantation: a case report. Medical Student Research Journal (2016). doi: 10.15404/msrj/04.2016.0006


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