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St. John's Regional First in CA to Implant Chronic Pain Device


St. John’s Regional Medical Center (SJRMC), a Dignity Health Hospital, is the first hospital in California to implant an innovative spinal cord stimulator that provides chronic pain relief to patients. The first procedure was performed recently by SJRMC Pain Management Specialist, Rob Frey, MD whose patient is reportedly doing extremely well.

“Access to this new device will make a tremendous impact in the lives of our patients allowing them to lead more mobile, pain free lives,” said Darren Lee, President and CEO of Dignity Health St. John’s Regional Medical Center and St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital. “We are excited to be the first hospital in California to offer this innovative therapy in the treatment of chronic back pain.” 

The device, the Precision Montage MRI, offers patients control over their treatment with MultiWave Technology. Much like changing the channel on a television, with the simple click of a button on their patient remote, patients have the ability to switch between different waveform settings throughout the day through MultiWave Technology. This flexibility allows patients to customize their treatment in a way that has not previously been available with spinal cord stimulation therapy.

Until now, one of the greatest challenges with spinal cord stimulation therapies has been giving patients access to the latest technologies without limiting their ability to benefit from future diagnostic testing using MRI. Typically, implanted devices run the risk of distorting imaging during MRIs or can pose the risk of moving with the magnetic pull of the MRI, possibly causing tissue damage. The Precision Montage MRI stimulator is different from current devices because it is constructed of materials that are compatible and safe to use with MRI.

“Unlike anything before it, this new technology opens a door of options for treating spine pain, while conserving a patient’s access to other diagnostic testing,” said Dr. Frey. “Our patients no longer have to choose between access to MRI scans or the most advanced system for pain relief.”
 
Chronic pain is often defined as any pain lasting more than 12 weeks. More than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, which can have a devastating impact on quality of life. Patients with pain sometimes experience a fluctuation in location, type and intensity of pain throughout the day or over time. Spinal cord stimulation is an important therapy option for patients who have not been able to alleviate their chronic pain through traditional methods such as medicine or surgery.

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