Superion interspinous process spacer for intermittent neurogenic claudication secondary to moderate lumbar spinal stenosis: two-year results from a randomized controlled FDA-IDE pivotal trial

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2015 Mar 1;40(5):275-82. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000000735.


Study design: Prospective, multicenter, randomized, controlled, investigational device exemption noninferiority trial.

Objective: To determine 2-year outcomes in patients with intermittent neurogenic claudication secondary to moderate lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) who were treated with the Superion interspinous process spacer.

Summary of background data: Interspinous spacers are a less-invasive treatment alternative compared with surgical decompression for patients with LSS unresponsive to conservative care. High-quality comparative data with these devices are lacking.

Methods: Patients presenting with intermittent neurogenic claudication secondary to moderate LSS who failed at least 6 months of nonsurgical management were randomly allocated to treatment with the Superion spacer or a control spacer (X-Stop) and followed for 2 years.

Results: A total of 391 randomized patients were implanted with Superion (n = 190) or control (n = 201) spacers at 29 sites in the United States between August 2008 and December 2011. Implants were successfully implanted in 99.5% of patients with Superion and 99.0% of control patients. The primary composite endpoint of this study was met, which demonstrated that the Superion spacer was noninferior to the X-Stop spacer. Leg pain, the predominant patient complaint, decreased in severity by 70% during 2 years in each group. Most (77%) patients achieved leg pain clinical success (improvement ≥20 mm) at 2 years. Back pain clinical success (improvement ≥20 mm) was 68%, with no differences between groups. Oswestry Disability Index clinical success (≥15% point improvement) was achieved in 65% of patients. The rates of complications and reoperations were similar between groups.

Conclusion: The Superion interspinous process spacer relieves symptoms of intermittent neurogenic claudication secondary to moderate LSS in the majority of patients through 2 years.

Level of evidence: 2.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Decompression, Surgical / instrumentation
  • Decompression, Surgical / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intermittent Claudication / diagnosis
  • Intermittent Claudication / etiology
  • Intermittent Claudication / surgery*
  • Internal Fixators / standards*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / pathology
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Spinal Stenosis / complications
  • Spinal Stenosis / diagnosis
  • Spinal Stenosis / surgery*
  • Therapies, Investigational*
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration*