There are many brands (Coflex, X-spine, Axle, Alpine XC, SP-Fix, Superion, etc) of this type of device. They are essentially a spacer between the spinous processes in the back for treatment of the symptoms of neurogenic claudication from lumbar stenosis. In other words, the device separates the spinous processes from the very back of the spine, stretches the ligaments inside the canal where the nerve routes pass, and this takes some pressure off the nerve roots.
Although originally used only for spinal stenosis, these clamps are increasingly being used to provide a lower stiffness fusion at the decompressed level. Hence, in older patients without very active life-styles, the surgeon may suggest an Inter-Spinous clamp/device to create increased rigidity at that level after decompression of the level’s nerves.
This surgery has been shown to be helpful and has a lower morbidity and recuperation period associated with it. All the surgeons at the Inland Neurosurgery Institute are trained in the use of such devices. The exact use of the device is very patient specific and hence your physician will discuss with you when and why the device may be needed.