Pain relief implant hope6th July 2010
Surgeons at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London have fitted a new type of pain-relieving implant into a patient for the first time.
The neurostimulator is used in the treatment of back and leg problems, and employs motion-detecting technology to determine how much pain relief to administer.
The technology uses motion sensors similar to those found in Nintendo Wii devices or iPhones.
The surgeons were able to fit the implant to help a patient who was suffering after an accident.
The use of neurostimulators in the NHS has received the approval of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
A surgical procedure fits wires into the spinal cord which transmits electronic signals to help disguise pain with tingling sensations.
However moving position can trigger an increase in pain unless the amount of stimulation is adjusted.
The patient, 35-year-old Robert Mason from Berkshire, stated that he was "delighted" with the result of the surgery.
He said the implant had reduced the chronic pain in his legs from an eight out of 10 to a four out of 10.
Dr Adnan Al-Kaisy, a pain management consultant at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, said it should significantly improve the quality of life for many patients.
"We've been waiting for this device for a long time. It's a breakthrough and will make a major difference, by providing accurate stimulation to these patients."
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