Editor’s Note: National Pain Report previously ran an article regarding this technology as used for shoulder pain in stroke survivors. This following story was prompted by a press release by Bioness, which widens the scope of areas and conditions that may be treated with the system.
A series of implantations of a small device to manage chronic pain from varied peripheral neuralgias has recently been completed, and the doctors using the new technology are pleased with the results.
The device, called StimRouter, is the first FDA approved minimally invasive neuromodulation device designed to treat chronic pain of a peripheral nerve origin. The device is currently being used to treat peripheral pain focusing on the following areas and conditions:
- Axillary nerve (e.g. post-stroke shoulder pain)
- Ulnar nerve (e.g. cubital tunnel syndrome)
- Ilioinguinal (e.g. post-surgical hernia complication)
- Superior Cluneal nerve (e.g. lower back neuralgia)
“For many years we have had limited solutions to help our patients manage their debilitating pain,” shared William Porter McRoberts, MD, a trained Physiatrist and Interventional Spine and Pain Management Specialist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “As hard as it is to understand the impact of one’s pain, it is easy to see when relief is delivered. I’m very pleased with how well my patients are responding to the StimRouter and believe that the technology will be suitable for a greater range of patients in the future.”
Dr. Michael Sein, a rehabilitation physician at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York told National Pain Report that the device, “Represents a paradigm shift in the management of post-stroke shoulder pain. I like the ease of implementation which can be completed in an ambulatory setting as well as the significant levels of pain reduction that is achievable in patients that have failed to improve with prior therapy.”
Dr. McRoberts also shared with National Pain Report that, “100% of my implanted patients have had dramatic improvements in pain. One patient has even had complete resolution of her symptoms. I’ve been extremely happy.”
The device consists of a thin, implanted lead with conductive electrode, external pulse transmitter (EPT), and hand-held wireless patient programmer. It works by transmitting electrical signals transdermally (through the skin) from the EPT through the electrode, down the lead to the target nerve. It’s programmed by the physician, but is controlled by the patient to address the patients specific, changing pain management needs.
The StimRouter differs from traditional neuromodulation products like Spinal Cord Stimulators in several ways, the most significant being the removal of the large battery and pulse generator to outside the body, allowing the implantation of the small, 15cm lead to be completed in 15-30 minutes while the patient is awake. Also, other products require a “trial lead” or removal of the lead after 30 days, amounting to a second surgery. With the StimRouter the trial and implant are combined in one surgical procedure. “After over 100 implants in the US in multiple peripheral nerves around the body, the results have been very compelling – some of which are represented in patient testimonials on the StimRouter.com website,” reported Mark Geiger, Director of Marketing for Implantables at Bioness. “We are very pleased in the culmination of over a decade of electrical stimulation R&D being applied to meet this important unmet need in patients with chronic pain.”