CONTACT: Eileen Patterson
Algone Marketing Director
CONTACT: Rob Moore
Abbott Territory Manager
March 13, 2017
ALGONE MAKES EXCLUSIVE NEW MEDICAL PROCEDURE
AVAILABLE IN ALASKA
Pain Treatment Focuses on Areas Previously Difficult to Target
Anchorage, A.K. – Algone is the first and only facility in Alaska currently using a new neurostimulation device for persistent chronic pain. The stimulator was FDA approved last year and patients receiving treatment are enjoying early positive results.
The device, known as the Abbott Axium™ Neurostimulator System for dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation, was used to support Earl Downey, 53, resident of Anchorage, suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
“I decided to start offering this treatment to my patients because of the ability to target areas that have traditionally been difficult to treat, and because the potential relief is remarkable. We have seen patients experience a significant reduction in pain, which is exciting for all of us,” said Dr. Steven Johnson, an interventional pain and regenerative medicine specialist at Algone Anchorage.
Dr. Johnson implanted the Abbott Axium™ system in Mr. Downey after the patient experienced no relief from conservative therapy, physical therapy, pharmacotherapy, or acupuncture. Mr. Downey’s orthopedic surgeon, out of options, was ready to amputate. But after trial implantation, Mr. Downey experienced a self-reported 80 percent reduction in pain.
“I cut my pain medication down 75 percent, to where basically I was only taking it at night to help me sleep. I can do more daily chores now,” Mr. Downey said after his one week trial. He received his permanent implant on March 8, 2017.
Unlike traditional spinal cord stimulators (SCS), the Abbott Axium™ system targets the DRG, a spinal structure densely populated with sensory nerves that transmit information to the brain via the spinal cord. Devices to stimulate the DRG became available in the mid-2010s for treating chronic pain, particularly in areas that were hard to treat with traditional spinal cord stimulation, such as the hand, chest, abdomen, foot, knee or groin. Approval of DRG stimulation with the Axium™ system was based in part on the results of the ACCURATE IDE study, the largest study to date evaluating patients suffering from neuropathic chronic intractable pain associated with CRPS I and II or peripheral causalgia (PC).
“When I got the trial, which I only had for a week, the pain and redness went way down and [my toe] started to heal. Then when I had to wait for the permanent stimulator the blistering came back. But after I got the permanent [DRG stimulator], in just a couple of weeks the blistering was gone, it started to heal up, most of the redness was gone, and I actually started to grow my toenail back! It was a dramatic experience,” said Roxanna Buck, 51, resident of Chugiak, diagnosed with CRPS. On Oct. 19, 2016, Ms. Buck was the first patient to receive a permanent Axium™ system implant in Alaska.
According to the Institute of Medicine, chronic pain affects more than 100 million Americans, an incidence rate which outpaces heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined. Research suggests that, in total, the condition costs the American population an estimated 515 million workdays annually and generates upwards of 40 million visits to physicians each year.
“We are pain management experts, so we are always excited to add new services, but this new device is a real game changer. Being able to target this area of the spine will potentially relieve lower extremity pain that was previously extremely difficult to reach. Algone will continue to be on the front lines of innovation to give our patients more paths to improvement, “said Glinda Smith, Practice Administrator at Algone Anchorage.
Patients in the study were randomized to receive either DRG stimulation delivered by the Axium™ Neurostimulator System or traditional tonic SCS therapy delivered by a competitor’s system. At both three-month and 12-month intervals, results from the ACCURATE study showed DRG stimulation provided patients with superior pain relief over traditional tonic SCS. Study findings also demonstrated patients receiving DRG stimulation reported no differences in paresthesia (tingling) intensity due to changes in body position (known as postural effects) when compared to traditional SCS. After 12-months, nearly all patients receiving DRG stimulation reported better stimulation targeting in their area of pain without extraneous paresthesia than patients receiving traditional SCS (94.5 percent vs. 61.2 percent).
Algone is a multidisciplinary facility offering medical services in Wasilla, Anchorage, and Juneau. Algone specializes in pain management, interventional treatment, regenerative medicine, and physical therapy. Algone is the only provider of the Regenexx stem cell protocol and DRG stimulation in Alaska.