Most patients who have a spinal cord stimulator significantly reduce their use of opioid pain medication one year after their implant, according to new industry-funded research.
In an analysis of private and Medicare insurance claims from 5,476 patients who received a spinal cord stimulator (SCS), opioid use declined or stabilized in 70 percent of the patients. Opioid use was higher among patients who had the stimulator removed.
The study, presented at the annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS), was sponsored by Abbott (NYSE: ABT), a manufacturer of SCS systems and other medical devices.
“Given the epidemic of opioid addiction and abuse, these findings are important and confirm that spinal cord stimulation therapy can offer strong benefits for patients struggling with chronic pain,” said Ashwini Sharan, MD, president of NANS and director of Functional and Epilepsy Surgery at Vickie and Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience.