ROUND ROCK, Texas—St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center is the only hospital in the Austin-Round Rock area—and one of just 30 hospitals in the country—to study a new alternative to traditional spinal fusion.

The Total Posterior Spine System (TOPS) is an artificial joint designed to maintain stability and preserve motion of the spine for patients with debilitating lower leg and back pain caused by slipped vertebrae or narrowing of the spinal canal.

Traditionally, surgeons remove bone elements that press on nerves in the spine and fuse the vertebrae together to ease patient pain. The TOPS implant is designed to support the two vertebrae, allowing them to move normally without the need for fusion. This trial will evaluate the effectiveness of the device as compared to traditional lumbar fusion.

“When two vertebrae are locked together, it reduces movement and adds pressure to surrounding discs. This can result in further degeneration and the need for additional surgeries,” Dr. Carl Lauryssen, director of neurosurgery at St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, said. “Our hope is that this device will preserve movement and eliminate the need for future surgery.”

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to host this trial, as well as offer patients a potentially motion-preserving treatment for back pain,” Jeremy Barclay, chief executive officer of St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, said. “The research conducted and analyzed by Dr. Lauryssen will provide the data needed to support the continued use of new technologies to manage spinal conditions.”

For more information on this study at St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, visit

St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center

St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, which is part of St. David’s HealthCare, is a 171-bed facility offering a range of services including advanced cardiac care at Heart Hospital of Austin at St. David’s Round Rock—the first specialized cardiac facility in Williamson County, which includes an electrophysiology lab and Hybrid Operating Room (OR) for cardiovascular patients. Other services include advanced trauma care with a Level II Trauma Center, emergency services in a 24-hour emergency department including locations in Cedar Park and Leander, as well as a dedicated unit for cancer care. St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center is also known for providing neurosurgery, advanced orthopedic and robotic services, among other complex specialties.

Rehabilitation Grant with UT Austin and Harmonics Bionics

tags: research