Beth’s Chronic Pain Story
Even after 17 years of chronic pain, Beth did not give up on finding relief. A former national champion gymnast, Beth dreamed of being active again. She tirelessly researched her condition and various treatment options, and she was willing to travel anywhere that could offer her hope.
Beth’s chronic pain was the result of a fall that occurred while she was working as a chef. Her painful condition left her with a constant burning sensation in her leg and sensitive to even the slightest touch. Confined to a wheelchair, she had trouble taking care of herself, leaving her depressed and anxious. Chronic pain destroyed her relationships with her loved ones, and Beth felt like the only thing she could do was “retreat to her bed and cry.”
After seeing 143 doctors across the country and undergoing 28 major surgeries, including an above-the-knee amputation, Beth continued to have severe pain in her left leg. The numerous medications she took made her feel disoriented and caused multiple complications.
Then a pain management specialist mentioned an option called neurostimulation, also known as spinal cord stimulation (SCS). Beth admits she was hesitant at first, fearful that it would not work. Her doctor explained that the placement of an SCS system requires a surgical procedure, which exposes patients to certain risks. (Risks associated with the procedure and/or use of a neurostimulation system include infection, swelling, bruising, undesirable changes in stimulation, and the loss of strength or use in an affected limb or muscle group. For a complete list of possible complications associated with neurostimulation, refer to this important safety information.)
Beth was nervous but willing to try it. After having an SCS system implanted, Beth’s pain decreased dramatically. She cut her medication to one time a week, and after 17 years in a wheelchair, she is walking again with a prosthetic leg. “It was unbelievable,” says Beth. “The pain was gone. Spinal cord stimulation has just been a blessing.”
Instead of worrying about her pain, Beth now spends her time disc jockeying at a local radio station and taking care of her family. She even runs a support group for others who suffer from chronic pain. She encourages them not to give up hope because after almost two decades of pain, she found a solution that was “a pure miracle in her life.”
Consult your doctor to discuss the risks and benefits of neurostimulation and determine if this therapy is right for you. The story above explains the experiences of an individual who has received a neurostimulation system to manage chronic pain of the trunk and/or limbs. These results with neurostimulation are specific to this individual. While most patients experience at least some reduction in pain, the amount of pain relief that individuals experience varies. The surgical placement and use of a neurostimulation system pose risks, the occurrence of which also varies by individual.