A New Option for Chronic Pain

Mercy Hospital Springfield became the first hospital in the region to implant a next generation spinal cord stimulator, called Precision Spectra, designed to provide pain relief to a wide range of chronic pain patients. Spinal Cord Stimulators (SCS) may be prescribed for chronic intractable pain of the trunk and/or limbs, including unilateral or bilateral pain associated with failed back surgery syndrome, intractable low back pain and leg pain. The Precision Spectra System is the world’s first and only SCS device with 32 contacts and 32 dedicated power sources, which expands the level of coverage across the spinal cord and provides greater flexibility for physicians to treat chronic pain. The procedure was performed by Dr. Benjamin Lampert, medical director for pain management at Mercy Springfield.

“Precision Spectra is the latest and most advanced SCS device available and we are proud to be the first hospital in the area to offer this treatment,” said Dr. Lampert. “We now have the potential to provide more pain relief to patients who suffer from chronic, debilitating pain, which may lead to improved outcomes.”

SCS is a type of therapy in which a patient undergoes a procedure to surgically place an Implantable Pulse Generator. Thin wires, or leads, are then placed in the space above the spinal cord to best target the areas of pain. The ends of the leads contain contacts which send electrical impulses to nerve fibers selectively along the spinal cord, masking the pain message traveling to the brain. The painful sensation is replaced with a soothing, tingling sensation. Until now, SCS systems offered a maximum of 16 contacts and two lead ports. With twice the number of contacts and ports, the Precision Spectra System, developed by Boston Scientific, offers more coverage of the spinal cord and increased flexibility to adapt to broader and changing pain patterns.

According to the Institute of Medicine, more than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain and may struggle to find effective relief through other therapies such as surgery and pain medication.

“Since pain can be very complex to treat, many patients cycle through various therapies before finding SCS,” continued Dr. Lampert. “I would encourage anyone living with chronic pain to talk to their physician to see if SCS is right for them.”

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