A pilot trial of a novel lead designed for peripheral nerve stimulation showed promising results, according to lead author Richard Rauck, MD, president of the Carolinas Pain Institute and medical director of the Center for Clinical Research, both in Winston-Salem, N.C. The device provided durable and robust relief of phantom limb pain, as well as improvement in function, in 14 of 16 amputees.
Many amputees experience phantom limb pain, or residual limb pain, for which narcotic interventions provide only marginal pain relief. With respect to nerve stimulation therapies, the currently available leads were designed for spinal cord stimulation systems, according to the study abstract. A unique lead for PNS has been needed to provide less-invasive implantation and greater flexibility. The study was conducted to provide proof of concept for such a lead. Read a news story about the trial results here.