This story recounts the experience of a patient who is receiving Medtronic neurostimulation therapy (also known as spinal cord stimulation) 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.
Julio’s life changed dramatically one day while he and a co-worker emptied a 450-pound container. As the pallet they were standing on broke, Julio’s co-worker slipped and fell. To keep the container from falling on his partner, Julio strained to support the container, and then he felt a sudden, sharp pain in his back.
That first pain sensation was the start of chronic, debilitating back pain. Julio had to quit work and spend his days lying down. If he tried to walk, he fell, and he could not leave the house without help. Julio became irritable. "I depended on family and elderly friends from church to help me get through each day," Julio recalls.
Julio’s doctor tried a variety of treatments to relieve the pain. Medications and injections provided only temporary relief. Eventually, Julio underwent back surgery. He experienced relief for only one month before the pain returned.
Julio’s doctor was hopeful that neurostimulation therapy from Medtronic might relieve his pain. Attracted by the possibility of pain relief, Julio underwent a screening test to see if neurostimulation could manage his pain.
Julio felt like a new person during the screening test. He wasn’t as tense, and the pain decreased. He chose to move ahead with neurostimulation therapy. Immediately, Julio felt less pain. A week after the surgery, he was happily gardening again.
While he had no complications, there are risks associated with the procedure. The most frequently reported problems following the neurostimulator implant surgery include infection, lead movement, pain at the implant site, 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.
Julio describes the neurostimulation sensation as "gentle." With neurostimulation therapy, he takes fewer medications (2 pills instead of 15) and does not feel drowsy like he did before.
Today, Julio is enjoying an active life. He is busy fixing his house, painting the walls, and playing with his daughter. What Julio enjoys most is helping elderly friends at church—the same people who helped him when he needed them most.