New Neurostimulator Could Provide Breakthrough In Chronic Pain Relief
For those who can’t find relief from chronic pain without the use of powerful painkillers, a new FDA-approved neurostimulator could provide hope for some of the 90 million Americans living with some form of the condition.
The Axium neurostimulator system, approved last February by the FDA, targets the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), a cluster of nerve cell bodies that transmits information to the brain. The surgical procedure involves thin wires being threaded into the spine as a device is then implanted into the body. Following the procedure, patients receive a handheld device to control the strength of the stimulation, depending on their pain level.
It’s primarily designed for patients with complex regional pain syndrome, which stems from damaged nerves due to injury or trauma. Those who undergo the procedure must also avoid examinations and treatments that use electrical energy, including MRI machines and radiation.
Studies surrounding the Axium neurostimulator system have also been promising. A recent clinical study showed more stable pain relief 12 months after the procedure than conventional spinal cord stimulation. Research has also shown that DRG stimulation is clinically superior to conventional SCS in treating pain for lower extremities including feet, knees and hips.
Patients have also raved over the benefits from the procedure. Robert Zuckerman, who suffered with chronic pain for 11 years after the surgeries, said his quality of life has significantly improved. He’s even stopped taking the painkillers that he was dependent on for more than a decade.
“My pain levels are at a one or two now. Before, they were at an eight or nine,” said Zuckerman to CBS New York. “It’s like someone waved a magic wand and I don’t even have to think about it anymore.”