Canadian-first Treatment to Relieve Chronic Pain

Oct 22, 2019
Anuj Bhatia

Associate Professor, Dr. Anuj Bhatia was able to offer a novel treatment to a chronic pain patient who suffered from severe neuropathic pain for the last 8 years.

The patient suffered an injury to the tibial nerve and was not able receive any significant benefits from medications, nerve blocks or physiotherapy. Dr. Bhatia and his team at UHN were able to offer treatment with a device that recently approved by Health Canada for peripheral nerve stimulation. Most devices for spinal cord and peripheral nerve stimulation require implantation of an electric wire (called a "lead") and a pulse generator (also called an IPG). The IPG can be difficult to implant when the lead is placed in the distal arm or leg because of limited space in the tissues to accommodate the IPG. The device used on the patient is unique, as it does not require implantation of the IPG. The lead communicates with the IPG that is strapped to the skin through radiofrequency waves.

The patient "wears" the IPG when she needs the stimulation and is able to take it off when the pain is minimal. Avoiding implantation of an IPG also eliminates the risk of repeated surgery for infection of the IPG, discomfort at IPG site and when the IPG is at the end of its lifespan; making the lead implantation procedure quicker and minimally invasive.

Congratulations to Dr. Bhatia and his team at UHN-Toronto Western Hospital on this impactful and exciting news.

You can read the full article, here!