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Methodist neurosurgeon first in Texas to offer chronic pain sufferers next generation technology in spinal cord stimulation

Houston, TX - 2/27/2012

A 62–year-old Houston woman became the first patient in Texas to receive an implantable device that offers more coverage of the spinal cord to better manage chronic pain.

During a 40-minute procedure, Richard Simpson, M.D., Ph.D., a neurosurgeon with the Methodist Neurological Institute, implanted the Infinion™ 16 Percutaneous Lead, part of the Precision Plus Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) System. The new lead is designed to deliver 16 stimulation contacts to the spinal cord to control pain signals to the brain.

Chronic pain lead
The new lead is designed to deliver 16 stimulation contacts to the spinal cord to control pain signals to the brain.

Previous percutaneous leads only offered eight stimulation contacts. The new lead is able cover more of the spinal cord to manage chronic pain for suffering patients. Simpson said, “Previous surgeries and medical management therapies did not alleviate the pain in the patient’s lower back and thighs."

“Patients typically exhaust other treatment options before considering this type of technology. If the pain becomes unbearable, it is almost too late, so we want chronic pain sufferers to know about these options as a viable treatment to providing long-lasting relief,” Simpson said.

In addition to spinal cord stimulation, other proven implantable therapies for chronic pain sufferers may include drug pumps. Most chronic pain patients who would be considered a candidate for implantable devices must go through psychological testing, a trial period and, finally, implantation.

According to the American Pain Foundation, more than 75 million Americans suffer from chronic pain yearly. Severe pain can interfere with a person’s well-being and quality of life.

For more on the Methodist Neurological Institute, visit our website or call 713-790-3333.

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