New spinal implant helps crippled patients to walk again
London: A revolutionary spinal implant has offered a new hope to thousands of people suffering the daily agony of spinal injury.
The new device developed by scientists at London`s Guy`s and St Thomas` Hospital has allowed crippled patients to walk again and freed others from a life of constant, debilitating pain, the Daily Express reported.
It works by disrupting and thereby dramatically reducing pain signals to the brain.
The team, who worked with researchers in Belgium and were funded by the US device company Nevro Corp, tested the implant on 83 patients.
Before the implant patients gave eight out of 10 as an average pain score, with 10 being the worst. Six months after the implant it fell to two.
The technique requires implanting wires near the spinal cord, which are linked to a generator. This gives off high frequency electrical impulses, which the patient does not feel.
The device has opened up a new frontier in pain management, said Dr Adnan Al-Kaisy, a pain and electrical nerve stimulation specialist at Guy`s Hospital who led the study.
"Patients who have been given it have been able to come off painkilling drugs, go back to work and enjoy their lives again. There is nothing else out there that can reduce pain by this much. We are so proud at Guy`s to have been part of its development," he asserted.
Though the research has so far been carried out on people suffering severe back and leg pain caused by spinal injury, experts have said that the implant, which is free from side effects, could treat other painful conditions such as migraine and nerve damage.
Patients with chronic spinal pain who had the implant said that it`s changed their life.