MRI Stimulator: Managing Pain

FRESNO, Calif.

Simple trips to the mailbox and walking the dog were almost unbearable for John Garvin.

"A burning pain is probably the worst type of pain you could have," John Garvin told ABC30.

John has lived with this pain for more than 20 years. It started in his feet and traveled to his legs.

"II remember his feet sticking out of the sheets and if I happened to accidently hit his toes, he would just yell really loud," Sherry Garvin, John's wife, told ABC30.

The pain was due to peripheral neuropathy. John shuffled as he walked and quickly wore out his shoe soles. Researchers at The Ohio State University recommended the SureScan MRI neurostimulation system because John would need to continue MRI scans.

"It blocks the impulses going through the spinal cord to the brain," Dr. Milind Deogaonkar, Neurological Surgeon, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told ABC30.

The device has a protective coating on the metal and prevents tissue burn. In the past, patients with stimulator implants could not have MRI screenings.

"It kind of absorbs the heat, which generates around the contacts, and spreads it over the length of the lead," Dr. Deogaonkar said.

It's allowing doctors to better treat patients.

"I feel a lot better," John said.

"He sleeps with his feet under the covers," Sherry said.

Experts say the device will now give millions of patients like John Garvin a chance to walk through life with a little less pain.

It is estimated worldwide 60 million MRI procedures are performed each year. This stimulator will give thousands of people the opportunity to control their pain, while monitoring other health problems.

Dr. Milind Deogaonkar
Neurological Surgeon
The Center for Neuromodulation
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

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