This healthy video will focus on how doctors are Pumping and powering away chronic pain.
Read the full transcript »
Dr. Dean Edell: Life dealt Gerard Dolan a lousy hand. An on the job injury left him with constant back pain. Gerard Dolan: I have five back surgeries total. Dr. Dean Edell: But it didn't help. Gerard Dolan: I was on about 14 Tylenols a day. Dr. Dean Edell: Gerald finally found relief from a spinal implant. Ken Follet: We use a small device that's very much like a heart pacemaker that's attached to a small wire that can be placed over one of the nerves in arm or the leg or over the spinal cord. Dr. Dean Edell: The wire is attached to a battery underneath the skin. Ken Follet: This device electrically activates nerves in the body or in the spinal cord and somehow seems to block the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Dr. Dean Edell: Patients can adjust the intensity of this signal with the touch of a magnet. Ken Follet: This is a cath tube that we implant in. Dr. Dean Edell: At the Cleveland Clinic, doctors use stimulators as well as these specialized pumps to provide patients with relief. Nagy Mekhail: It's the different way of administering medications. Dr. Dean Edell: Instead of an electrical jolt, pumps deliver medication directly to the spinal cord. Nagy Mekhail: If somebody is requiring 300 milligrams of morphine by mouth, all what he need in the spine to achieve equivalent pain relief is one milligram. Dr. Dean Edell: Doctors say with either procedure, the risks are the same as with any minor surgery. Patients like Gerald say, it's worth it. I'm Dr. Dean Edell.