Spinal cord stimulator could curb opioid prescriptions: Here’s how

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nuvectra scs spinal cord stimulator

[Image from Nuvectra]

The first implantation of Nuvectra’s Algovita Spinal Cord Stimulation System was recently performed in Northern California.

The FDA-approved Algovita SCS System was able to successfully treat a injured veteran’s chronic pain to reduce the use of opioids to battle the pain.

“Following injuries sustained in the line of duty, this particular patient had multiple surgeries that led to unmanaged and intense chronic back pain prior to the placement of Algovita,” said Dr. Noel Goldthwaite, who implanted the Algovita, in a press release. “The smaller volume paddle lead and ability to steer it using a stylet eased the navigation of significant scar tissue during the procedure. These features allowed me to place the paddle and stimulation exactly where the patient needed it, which helped to alleviate his pain right from the start. Furthermore, after the procedure, the Algovita system differs from other SCS systems in its easy to use keychain patient controller that allows the patient, in conjunction with our medical staff, to customize the amplitude, frequency, and pulse width of the stimulation and toggle between therapy settings.”

With the current opioid epidemic in the U.S., an alternative treatment couldn’t come soon enough. There was also the potential for having a digital health solution for pain treatment as opposed to opioids. The FDA is also currently working toward finding a solution for the opioid crisis.

“SCS is a powerful non-drug tool that can be used to control pain relief for these patients. Non-drug pain control helps them function, focus, and sleep better and more effectively deal with other related conditions, including PTSD,” Goldthwaite said.

Algovita was shown to have almost immediate pain relief for the patient who received the implant, resulting in the reduction of opioid usage by 90% in the six months after his surgery.

“The results have been outstanding! When he initially came to see me, he was severely depressed and in a wheelchair due to his pain. Now he walks into my office upright with a smile on his face and a sparkle in his eye – he’s a totally different person,” Goldthwaite said.

The system was originally designed to help physicians improve and manage patient pain now and in the future. It has a number of unique features and a wide range of capabilities and controls.

Leads of the Algovita system cover the longest parts of the spinal nerves which allows for more coverage while pain moves or changes. The leads are the only stretchable ones on the market and are designed to bend and stretch with natural movements in the body for long-term therapy.

The system also features a small, wireless key-fob patient controller that allows a user to change the amount of stimulation as pain changes throughout the day.

(Learn from some of the medical device industry’s top executives and experts at DeviceTalks West, Dec. 11–12 in Orange County, Calif.)

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