Rush University Medical Center’s Dr. Asokumar Buvanendran is among the first interventional pain medicine specialists in the country to implant a newly approved spinal cord stimulation device that automatically adjusts the amount of pain-blocking electrical impulses according to shifts in body position, providing another non-opioid option for chronic pain sufferers.
Buvanendran surgically implanted the Intellis Implantable Spinal Cord Stimulator device Sept. 21 under the skin of the lower back of a 72-year-old, retired New York City Police officer who has suffered debilitating chronic pain for several years.
“This next-generation spinal cord stimulator is an ideal example of a pain medicine option that gives patients the relief they need without the threat of addiction,” said Buvanendran, Rush’s director of orthopedic anesthesia and a professor of anesthesiology. He is also the current president of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, helping shape the policies to create awareness and insurance industry acceptance of chronic pain therapies and techniques that are safer and more effective than opioid-based medicines.
This new device’s data reporting capabilities make it much easier to document how thoroughly a patient’s pain is blocked. The device, the smallest on the market, contains an electromechanical technology that measures motion and velocity to then adjust the amount of electrical stimulation.