Spinal Modulation’s Axium spinal cord stimulator (SCS) system has demonstrated that it significantly relieves chronic pain of patients suffering from complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), nerve damage post-surgery, failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) and post-amputation pain.
The Axium SCS system, which has received CE Mark and TGA approval in Australia, works by electrically stimulating the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), in contrast with earlier methods of SCS that focused only on the dorsal column.
The DRG controls pain by filtering signals before they enter the spinal cord and the brain.
The Axium SCS system allows doctors to treat anatomical areas that are otherwise difficult to be treated with other SCS systems, such as neuropathic back and leg pain after surgery, as well as pain post-surgery such as hernia repair and post-amputation pain.
The study, titled Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, was conducted to investigate into the safety and performance of the system.
The trial found that 70% of patients suffering from leg pain and 89% of patients suffering from foot pain reported pain relief following six months of treatment.
About 19% of adult Europeans suffer from moderate to severe chronic neuropathic pain, which can significantly affect quality of life.
Chronic post-surgical pain is caused when there is damage to nerves due to a surgical procedure, for instance inguinal hernia repair.
Although the number of people suffering from neuropathic pain and chronic post-surgical pain is not very well documented, it is believed that at least about 30% to 50% of patients after amputation, 20% to 30% of women after mastectomy or lumpectomy and 10% of patients after inguinal hernia repair suffer such pain.
The Netherlands’ St Antonius Hospital consultant for anaesthesiology and pain medicine and lead author of the study Dr Liong Liem said stimulating the DRG instead of the spinal cord represents a leap forward in pain management.
"We now have a tool to treat focal areas of pain after injuries such as neuropathic foot pain, neuropathic knee pain, and groin pain after hernia repair or vascular access with minimal side effects such as unwanted stimulation, postural effects when moving, and lead migration which is common in traditional spinal cord stimulation," Liem said.
Erasmus University anaesthesiology professor and study author Professor Frank JPM Huygen noted that the Axium SCS system is associated with minimal side-effects and has already advanced the ability to assist long-suffering and difficult-to-treat patients across Europe.