Building a “Barricaid” for Back Pain


KETTERING, Ohio (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Nine hundred thousand people undergo back surgery each year. One of the main problems? Herniated or bulging discs. In fact, half a million people remove bulges that are pressing on nerves that are causing severe, debilitating pain. For many people, one surgery will lead to another and perhaps, to a spinal fusion. Now, the FDA has approved a new option to relieve back pain.

When Kirby and Sirius arrived in Amber Dillard’s life, she knew she had her hands full. The playing, the walking, the bending — all took their toll.

“It went from being just mildly inconveniencing to I could barely walk,” Amber painfully recalls.

Amber’s herniated disc was caused when the soft center of the spinal disc pushed through a tear. Neurosurgeon at Advanced Neurosurgery, Inc., Jamal Taha, MD says a discectomy is often used to remove the part of the disc that’s bulging, but it can be kind of tricky.

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“If you remove too much of that disc, that increases the chances of back pain after surgery. And if you remove too little, there’s a good chance that the disc can herniate again,” Dr. Taha explains.

In fact, 30 to 40 percent of patients will need a second surgery. But now, a new FDA-approved device, called Barricaid, is helping patients avoid that second surgery.

Dr. Taha adds, “It’s a little device where you have a tear and so it goes in that tear. It flips up as a plug, as a mesh and it just plugs it!”

A few months out, Amber’s pain is gone and she is now focused on raising her furry family.

The procedure takes about 45 minutes. Amber went home the same day. Studies show that patients who used the Barricaid procedure had an 81 percent reduction of a second operation. It’s the only FDA-approved technology for reducing re-herniation and re-operation after lumbar discectomy.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Matt Goldschmidt, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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REPORT:        MB #5388

BACKGROUND: Back pain is a common condition affecting people of all ages, characterized by discomfort or pain in the back. It can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain and can be acute (lasting a few days to a few weeks) or chronic (lasting longer than three months). About 65 million Americans experience back pain every year. Some common causes of back pain include: muscle or ligament strain, bulging or ruptured discs, arthritis, osteoporosis and/or ankylosing spondylitis.


DIAGNOSING: Signs and symptoms of back pain include: muscle aches, shooting or stabbing pain, radiating pain and/or limited range of motion. Doctors can diagnose back pain with knowing your medical history, doing a physical exam and a series of imaging tests that include x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, bone scans, and/or EMGs. Risk factors of back pain include: age, lack of exercise, excess weight, diseases, improper lifting, psychological conditions and/or smoking.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: There’s now a new way to treat back pain – a new device called Barricaid is taking away the pain for many patients. “Barricaid is the only FDA PMA-approved technology indicated for reducing reherniation and reoperation after lumbar discectomy. The implant is anchored to healthy bone with a titanium component that you secure to an adjacent vertebral body. Barricaid also includes a flexible polymer component designed to occlude your patient’s annular defect. As a result, Barricaid is designed to withstand 330 psi of pressure in the spinal disc. It also allows for normal anatomical movement following surgery.”



Jake Tanner

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at

Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Jamal Taha, MD, Neurosurgeon

Read the entire Q&A