Totalis™: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Treatment

screenshot of totalis procedure

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is one of the most common reasons for spinal surgery in older adults. The wear-and-tear effects of aging can cause narrowing of the canal that encases and protects the spinal cord. With less room, the spinal discs or joints can press on the spinal cord or spinal nerves.

Symptoms may include

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness
  • Burning feeling (typically starts in the buttocks and can radiate down the leg and into the foot)
  • Inability to control urination or bowel movements
  • Inability to control balance, coordination and the ability to walk

The symptoms may worsen when standing for long periods of time or when walking and may ease when bending forward or when sitting down. A person may not show signs or symptoms of spinal stenosis for many years. Depending on a person’s pain tolerance, severity and location, the symptoms can vary.


There are several causes of spinal stenosis. The most common causes of stenosis are degeneration of the spine due to aging, arthritis, osteoarthritis, herniated disc, tumors and disease. Those most affected by spinal stenosis are usually in their 50s to 70s. Spinal stenosis can also occur in younger generations due to a traumatic injury to the spinal column, to those with careers that are labor intensive or because a person was born with a narrowing of the spinal canal.

Treatment Available: TotalisTM

If you are diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis, Holy Cross Hospital has a revolutionary minimally-invasive treatment that may be right for you. The Totalis Direct Decompression System is a set of specialized instruments designed to safely remove the tissue and bone that are putting pressure on the nerves of your lower back. The procedure is performed by our interventional spine and pain medicine specialists (W. Porter McRoberts, MD, and Paul Wu, MD) through a very small incision and does not require general anesthesia.

CLICK here to watch a video on how the procedure is performed.

Talk to your doctor about whether or not you are a good candidate for this treatment. For a physician referral, call 866-988-DOCS.