A man from the West Midlands has described getting his life back after being fitted with a Spinal Cord Stimulator.
The 42 year old developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) in his left foot and leg after fracturing his ankle at work. After undergoing a variety of other treatments, his condition had not improved and the only remaining option was the fitting of a Spinal Cord Stimulator. This is an invasive procedure where electrodes are implanted in the epidural space in the spine. These electrodes are connected to a small electrical pulse generator which is implanted under the skin. The device is controlled by remote control. It is a little like having a built in TENS machine.
The man, who only wishes to be identified as Brian, had brought a claim against his employers following his accident. He was represented by Richard Lowes of BLB Solicitors in Bath.
Mr Lowes said “”the big issue for insurance companies when it comes to funding this treatment is the cost, which is around £25,000. However, if it means that the Claimant can regain some quality of life and even consider a return to employment, it is clearly a price worth paying.””
Brian has recently returned to work on a part-time basis and hopes to gradually increase his hours over the coming months. He said “”after 2 years of hell I’m at last getting my life back together. I still have pain, but it’s nothing like it was before. Just being able to go back to work has made so much difference. I’ve got something to get up for in the morning.””
There are of course risks with this procedure and some evidence suggests that the beneficial effects may decrease in the long term. However, Mr Lowes said “CRPS sufferers are in so much pain and discomfort that many will seize the opportunity of even a modest amount of relief. At BLB we have now represented a number of people who have undergone this procedure and generally the results have been excellent. It is wonderful for us to see the transformation in their lives.”