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Tue, Feb 11 3:30pm · Back on her feet and free from debilitating back pain thanks to spinal cord stimulator in Adult Pain Medicine



JessesskiDoris16x9-1024x576Doris Jessesski tried a host of treatments to ease her chronic back pain. Then a Mayo Clinic Pain Medicine specialist recommended a new type of spinal cord stimulator. Today, Doris’ debilitating back pain is gone.

When Doris Jessesski had spine surgery in 2004 at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, she thought her days of back pain were behind her. And Doris lived free of pain for 14 years after the procedure, which involved a hemilaminotomy and spinal fusion.

But in fall 2018, the discomfort came back in a big way. “It was very painful all the time,” Doris says. “I’m a walker. I couldn’t go walking. I’d be sitting down watching TV, and it hurt just to stand up.”

Doris went to see Evan R. Nelson, M.D., in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic Health System ― Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse, Wisconsin. After assessing Doris’ condition, Dr. Nelson recommended epidural steroid injections and then sacroiliac joint injections to help ease the pain, which was being caused by a spine disorder called lumbar spondylosis. But the treatments didn’t work.

Doris began taking opioid medications to manage her back pain. Dr. Nelson also recommended Doris see a Pain Medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester for further evaluation and treatment. In Rochester, Doris underwent another procedure known as radiofrequency ablation.

“We use specialized needles and radiofrequency energy to destroy the nerves from the facet joint to alleviate back pain,” says Matthew Pingree, M.D., a Mayo Clinic Pain Medicine physician. “Unfortunately, she only had temporary relief from that.”

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Mon, Jan 27 11:25am · Spinal cord stimulator ends 17-year battle with chronic pain in Adult Pain Medicine



A snowmobile accident left Blake Sunde with limited use of his right arm and triggered severe, chronic pain that lasted for years. Two years ago, a new treatment option changed everything and restored the quality of life Blake had been missing for so long.

When Blake Sunde collided head-on with another snowmobile in 2003, he suffered a devastating injury. The network of nerves that sent signals from his spinal cord to his shoulder, arm and hand — known as the brachial plexus — was ripped apart.

When Blake was thrown from his vehicle, his shoulder, head and neck were stretched in opposite directions. “That put traction on the nerve roots, and several were pulled out of the spinal cord, including those that control the hand,” says Allen Bishop, M.D., a Mayo Clinic orthopedic hand and microsurgery specialist who was part of Blake’s care team.

Doctors in the emergency department at the Fargo, North Dakota, hospital where Blake sought care referred him to the Brachial Plexus Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

After the accident, Blake, who was 20 years old, was unable to extend his right arm or his fingers. He also was in terrible pain and had to take two types of opioid medication to help him bear it. “In cases like Blake’s, the spinal cord injury sends pain signals to the brain that are often chronic and, at times, severe,” Dr. Bishop says.

Continuing reading via Sharing Mayo Clinic to see how the HF-10 stimulator implanted by Matthew Pingree, M.D., a physician in Pain Medicine at Mayo Clinic, reduced Blake’s pain by 75%.

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Dec 13, 2019 · Freed from unrelenting pain, Bea Fiala is offering her own kind of medicine: Laughter in Adult Pain Medicine

Fiala, Bea

In January, Bea Fiala and her husband drove eight hours through a blizzard from their home in Grand Island, Nebraska, to Rochester, Minnesota, in search of answers.

Bea had spent three years with terrible pain in her right thigh that began several months after knee replacement surgery. At first, it felt like a needling, tingling pain, but the pain got progressively worse. She had consults with specialists, including two local pain management physicians. And she tried several treatments to find some relief, but the pain persisted.

A stand-up comedian for 18 years, Bea had to stop performing because her pain was too distracting.

“The pain came when I stood for more than 15 minutes,” Bea says. “I took Tylenol. I tried massage, lidocaine patches, capsaicin, medications used for nerve pain, physical therapy and acupuncture, but I couldn’t find anything to relieve the pain. Most of the doctors I saw thought the pain was coming from my back.”

After several steroid injections in her back and one aimed at the nerve in her thigh, which only provided a few days of relief, Bea underwent a spinal stimulator trial. “It made things worse,” Bea says. “I felt I couldn’t keep living with this horrible pain. I was at my wit’s end.”


Continue reading Bea’s story via Sharing Mayo Clinic 


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