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Phoenix hospital uses new device to help chronic pain sufferers

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

PHOENIX — A Phoenix hospital has become the first in the Valley to use a new device to offer relief for chronic pain sufferers.

The device is known as the St. Jude Medical Axium Neurostimulator System for dorsal root ganglion stimulation. It’s a neurostimulation device that allows doctors at St. Luke’s Medical Center to use electricity to change the way the brain perceives pain.

The device has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and Dr. Minesh Zaveri is the only doctor in Phoenix using it. He said it helps people who have pain in the lower body.

“We’re actually stimulating the dorsal root, which is where the pain center is,” said Zaveri. “If you develop a nerve injury, this can actually modulate the perception of pain and alleviate it.”

He has treated 10 patients so far, with great results.

“(On) patients who have actually had some injuries, or nerve damage from previous surgeries and are not able to handle the side effects as we’ve tried medications, this has had amazing success,” Zaveri said.

He remembers one patient and her surgery very well.

“She was a right knee replacement which caused significant nerve damage,” said Zaveri. “She was on narcotics. I was able to put this into a trial, and her pain was completely alleviated.”

If you are a chronic pain sufferer and are interested in finding out whether the system can help you, call 602-795-PAIN (7246) or click here.

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