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Columbus Dispatch: Stimulator Device For Pain

Surgical Option Hopes To Decrease Pain & Need For Medications

There is no doubt, there is a serious opioid abuse problem around the world.  For many, those pain pills are needed to control pain or for recovery following a surgery. There are occasions where people can get addicted, or others can get their hands on unused medications.

That's why many doctors are working hard to find ways to ease pain and decrease the amount of medication going home with patients.

This fall OhioHealth surgeon Dr. Chris Karas performed the first spinal cord stimulator implant surgery of a new device aimed at reducing pain and helping patients stay off of strong opioid medication, hopefully for good.

“It has been very difficult to treat long-term or lifelong pain in people in medicine, and the method that’s been used for that most recently has been opiates, and we’ve found there have been a lot of unintended consequences,” Karas told the Columbus Dispatch.

With the use of an X-Ray machine, Dr. Karas is able to insert the device through a small incision. That device is actually controlled by the patient and connected through wires and electrodes that allow the patient to turn up or down the device to treat pain to thousands of combinations along the spine.

Recovery takes about 10 days, and there is a trial period ahead of the surgery where the device can be tested to make sure the patient is a candidate for the surgery.

The first surgery happened in September, with many more getting the device in the device in the last few months.

The device has been FDA approved.

“Now patients can use it on their own,” he said to Dispatch reporter JoAnne Viviano. “This is great because there are so many people we know who can use this device.”

To read the entire story in the Columbus Dispatch, simply click the logo.