StenAIR Laserscope

Organization: MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Co-Developer(s): Massachusetts General Hospital
Year: 2016

Half a million Americans suffer from spinal disorders from the normal degenerative aging process. Lower back pain/extremity numbness is frequently caused by the degenerative condition known as lumbar spinal stenosis: the narrowing of the spinal canal caused by the overgrowth of ligamentum flavum. StenAIR Laserscope can be used to treat this ailment and significantly reduce surgical cost, hospital stays and patient recovery. Through use of the StenAIR, the surgeon can perform a procedure with no destruction to the surrounding bone and back muscle via an outpatient procedure instead of open-back surgery. It allows the surgeon to perform very precise endoscopic surgery within the spinal canal via a naturally existing access port near the base of the sacrum. The most immediate application of this technology is to treat spinal stenosis as an outpatient procedure. Other surgeries requiring the precise removal of material within the spinal canal will also benefit from this technology.