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Basketball Hall-of-Famer, Bill Walton, Tours the Nation to Speak About Life-Changing Spine Surgery

Thu, 02/07/2013 - 8:30am
The Associated Press

NuVasive, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUVA), a medical device company focused on developing minimally disruptive surgical products and procedures for the spine, announced today that Bill Walton, Basketball Hall-of-Famer and a Better Way Back® patient ambassador, has successfully completed a nationwide tour speaking about the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery.

For years, Bill Walton experienced debilitating chronic back and leg pain during his years on and off the court that nearly compromised his current position as a sports commentator. Bill's pain left him unable to walk, sit or drive a car. After undergoing the minimally disruptive XLIF® (eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion) procedure, Bill found relief, has fully recovered, and is back to his active lifestyle.

"I was standing at the edge of the bridge, ready to jump before I found the treatment that allowed me to play again in the wonderful 'game of life,'" said Bill Walton. "I was terrified of spine surgery and waited too long before seeking help. With the right treatment, doctor, and technology there is hope. As with all surgical procedures, spine surgery carries risks that should be discussed with a doctor, but my message to other patients is don't wait; take control of your health and your life! If I can do it, you can too!"

Bill is sharing his story as a key spokesman for The Better Way Back, a patient education program developed and funded by NuVasive. The program is dedicated to helping individuals overcome the challenges of chronic back and leg pain by providing them with the resources they need to find treatment and emotional support. Bill traveled throughout Texas, North Carolina, Massachusetts and California, speaking about his recovery to patients looking for similar solutions to their chronic back and leg pain. Drawing on his own recovery from debilitating back pain, Bill refers to himself as "the luckiest man alive" and continuously provides hope and inspiration to patients and their loved ones.

"Since Bill has experienced debilitating back and leg pain, he has a unique perspective in sharing his story with pre-operative patients," said Keith Valentine, NuVasive President and Chief Operations Officer. "In addition to sharing his story with pre-operative patients as well as hospitals and clinicians, Bill acts as an advocate for spine patients and the spine industry. Bill has personally met with legislative and regulatory decision makers, in hopes of improving access for spine patients to innovative treatment options. As Bill's experience shows, thoughtful diagnosis and treatment gives patients a new start, filled with activity and free from pain."

For more information about The Better Way Back or to speak to Bill Walton about his work as a Patient Ambassador, please visit www.thebetterwayback.org, or call 1-800-745-7099.

About NuVasive

NuVasive is a medical device company focused on developing minimally disruptive surgical products and procedurally integrated solutions for the spine. The Company is the 4th largest player in the $8.2 billion global spine market. NuVasive's principal product offering is based on its Maximum Access Surgery, or MAS® platform. The MAS platform combines several categories of solutions that collectively minimize soft tissue disruption during spine surgery with maximum visualization and safe, easy reproducibility for the surgeon: a proprietary software-driven nerve avoidance system and intra-operative monitoring support; MaXcess®, a unique split-blade retractor system; a wide variety of specialized implants; and several biologic fusion enhancers. MAS significantly reduces surgery time and returns patients to activities of daily living much faster than conventional approaches. Having redefined spine surgery with the MAS platform's lateral approach, known as eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion, or XLIF®, NuVasive has built an entire spine franchise. With over 80 products today spanning lumbar, thoracic and cervical applications, the Company will continue to expand and evolve its offering predicated on its R&D focus and dedication to outstanding service levels supported by a culture of Absolute Responsiveness®.

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