CHI St. Alexius First to offer long-term management of chronic pain

CHI St. Alexius Health is the First and ONLY in ND to offer the new next generation Medtronic Spinal Cord Stimulator for long-term management of chronic pain

CHI St. Alexius Health Bismarck is the first and only in North Dakota to offer the Intellis™ platform, including the world’s smallest implantable spinal cord stimulator (SCS) for the management of certain types of chronic intractable pain. Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that can negatively impact all aspects of a person’s life – relationships, work productivity and activities of daily living, yet it remains under-recognized and undertreated. Given the national crisis involving opioid abuse, it’s more important than ever for ND residents suffering from chronic pain to have access to new non-opioid treatment options.

“Chronic pain is challenging to treat and my goal is to restore my patient’s mobility and improve their quality of life with effective long-term pain relief,” said Stephen Markewich, M.D. “It’s more important than ever for CHI St. Alexius Health to offer an effective, long-term, non-opioid solution; the availability of the Intellis spinal cord stimulator should offer new hope to patients struggling with debilitating pain.”

Back problems are one of the top 10 most expensive medical conditions, with an estimated 30 percent of the 300,000 patients annually that undergo lumbosacral spine procedures developing chronic intractable pain. Medtronic neurostimulation therapy for chronic pain uses an SCS system, which is a medical device placed under a patient’s skin to deliver mild electrical impulses through a lead implanted in the epidural space to block pain signals from going to the brain. Neurostimulation has been proven to provide effective long-term pain relief and improve quality of life, in addition to being a treatment option for patients interested in trying a non-drug alternative.

What is the impact of Chronic Pain? 
Chronic pain takes an emotional and economic toll on individual sufferers, their families and friends, co-workers, employers and communities. While it is a very personal issue, chronic pain is a significant public health problem. Back problems are one of the top 10 most expensive medical conditions, with an estimated 30 percent of the 300,000 patients annually that undergo lumbosacral spine procedures developing chronic intractable pain.

What is spinal cord stimulation and what are the benefits?
Medtronic neurostimulation therapy for chronic pain uses an SCS system, which is a medical device placed under a patient’s skin to deliver mild electrical impulses through a lead implanted in the epidural space to block pain signals from going to the brain. Neurostimulation has been proven to provide effective long-term pain relief and improve quality of life, in addition to being a treatment option for patients interested in trying a non-drug alternative.

Is SCS an effective alternative treatment for certain types of chronic pain? 
SCS is a non-opioid therapy that is clinically proven and cost-effective for treating chronic pain. Multiple randomized controlled trials have demonstrated that SCS provides more effective pain relief than both re-operation and conventional medical management.

Why is the availability of a new treatment option important?
Chronic pain is challenging to treat and our goal is to restore patient’s mobility and improve their quality of life with effective long-term pain relief. Given the national crisis involving opioid abuse, it’s more important than ever for CHI St. Alexius Health to offer an effective, long-term solution. The availability of the Intellis platform should offer new hope to patients struggling with debilitating pain.

What are the benefits of the Intellis™ Platform? 
The Intellis™ platform includes the world’s smallest implantable SCS neurostimulator and offers important patient benefits, including optimizing treatment and improving patient-physician communication by tracking and sharing daily activities, body positions and therapy usage and giving physicians an objective look at mobility and progress. The system also addresses a common patient complaint: battery recharge burden. With Medtronic’s proprietary Overdrive™ battery technology, the Intellis battery can be recharged from empty to full in approximately one hour and is optimized for meeting the energy demands of high-dose (HD) therapy options offered in the Evolve SM workflow.

The ability to utilize MRI diagnostic imaging is limited with most SCS systems, but the Intellis ™ platform allows the broadest access to this important diagnostic tool. This is significant because research shows approximately 82 percent of patients implanted with an SCS system are expected to need an MRI within five years of receiving the implant.8 Intellis also has AdaptiveStimTM technology which automatically adjusts to deliver the right dose to the right location, as the pain target shifts based on body position.