This story recounts the experience of a patient who is receiving Medtronic drug delivery therapy for the treatment of chronic pain. Medtronic invited him/her to share his/her story candidly. Please bear in mind that the experiences are specific to this particular person.
As a young married man in his mid-twenties, Rob was working as a pipefitter. He was helping to bring a heavy hot-water boiler into an older home when the steps gave way. In Rob's words, he "held on a little bit too long" and ruptured three discs in his back.
Rob developed chronic pain after his accident in 1981. It was devastating. His social life deteriorated and he found it difficult to work.
Over a 20-year period, Rob and his doctors tried injections, physical therapy, and a TENS unit. He also had multiple back surgeries and took prescription oral medications.
Until Rob started receiving drug delivery therapy, the side effects from his oral pain medications negatively affected him and those around him. "The best way to describe it is they [oral pain medications] ‘muddy up the water’ as far as thinking and being myself. It changes your personality. I knew there was a difference. My employer saw a difference. My family saw a difference and that was … hard."
While Rob did not have any complications, there are risks associated with the procedure. The most frequently reported problems following drug infusion system implant surgery include infection, spinal fluid leak, pump inversion, skin erosion, drug side effects, loss of therapy effect, and therapy that did not meet the patient's expectations. For a complete list of adverse events that have been associated with the therapy, please refer to the Important Safety Information.
Now, thanks to drug delivery therapy from Medtronic, Rob has rejoined his life in many ways.
"My family life has just gotten so much better. We've been able to do things we never thought we'd be able to do again," Rob says. "My work life has also changed dramatically. It's a great relief to be back and productive again."