“The SPRINT System allows us to rethink our pain strategy and offer a first-line PNS option to our patients prior to more invasive or more permanently implanted options.” – Dr. Tim Deer
With a variety of options for treating pain, how do you explain to a patient that peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) may be right for them? Below are some key points to keep in mind when working with a patient who is considering PNS.
1. Identify the right patient
SPRINT PNS is an innovative pain treatment option today. One that has been (and continues to be) clinically studied for a variety of chronic pain syndromes.
The SPRINT PNS System is indicated for use in the back and/or extremities for chronic or acute pain. Physicians should use their best judgment when deciding when to use the SPRINT PNS System.
Examples of how the SPRINT PNS System has been used commercially include:
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Neuropathic mononeuropathy
- Low back pain
- Inoperable joint pain
- Post-amputation pain
- Nerve or plexus trauma
- Meralgia Paresthetica
- Post-operative joint/joint-replacement pain
- Post-herniorrhaphy pain (posterior approach)
- Post decompression/transposition surgery
The patient’s mindset and living conditions are also important. SPRINT is best for patients who:
- Prefer a motor sparing option that may preclude the need for a permanent implant
- Desire a low risk option early in the care continuum – often after their first visit
- Can understand and comply with the 60-day treatment plan
- Have the ability to change their dressing/bandage as needed, or who have a family member to assist
2. Explain the pain treatment continuum and how PNS fits into it
Patients seeking pain relief typically aren’t pain experts. They may not understand how the pain treatment continuum works, or all the steps it includes. They often don’t know how the different options for treating pain work or the risks and benefits associated with them. And they may not understand how a minimally-invasive PNS treatment like SPRINT PNS can fit within the journey.
Patients are usually more familiar with pain treatments such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or nerve blocks. Data have shown that once a patient understands the pros and cons of different treatment options, percutaneous 60-day PNS is often preferred. In fact, a recent survey of patients found that when presented with radiofrequency ablation and SPRINT PNS, 62% of the surveyed patients preferred SPRINT PNS because it was a non-destructive, motor-sparing temporary implant.
“The SPRINT PNS System has fostered a significant evolution within neuromodulation to include its unique role as a first-line PNS option. My patients love that they don’t have to default to a device that’s implanted for the rest of their life.” – Shalini Shah, MD
Because PNS is still a relatively new treatment option to patients, it’s important to walk the patient through their pain treatment options and ensure they understand that PNS can offer them a less-invasive option for chronic pain relief.
3. Connect the benefits of PNS to the patient’s health and lifestyle history
While various options for treating pain exist, some, especially surgery, may not be right for certain patients based on age, other existing health conditions or past experiences with either surgery or prescriptions. This is part of why PNS is a game-changer. PNS is often a less-invasive option for treating pain.
“In the last two years it’s probably been one of the most exciting new therapies for me and the partners in our practice, because we’re treating things that we never treated before,” said Dr. Henry Vucetic. “We’re giving patients new options [where in the past] we would’ve said, ‘Sorry, we don’t have anything else.’”
In another study of patients who have a history of using opioids for pain relief, it was found that PNS may help reduce opioid consumption. Dr. Christopher Gilmore recently attested to the positive impact of SPRINT as a treatment option, explaining how in a recent study it had helped reduce the use of opioids in chronic low back pain patients:
“We looked at participants who were taking opiates and their response to 60 days of treatment with SPRINT medial branch nerve stimulation in the lumbar region. Five months after initiation of treatment, 73% of participants had at least half of their opioid doses reduced. I had one participant who was taking 80 milligrams of morphine a day reduced to 0 at the end of treatment. And that was maintained out for three months post end of treatment.”
Dr. Nirav Shah also shared the way SPRINT PNS may fit within a pain relief care continuum as a preliminary approach to surgery.
“I’ve used this technology to actually wean patients down from opiates before surgery”.
For further clinical reading, read this piece on how SPRINT PNS helped reduce opioid consumption in chronic low-back pain patients.
4. How to Talk to Your Patients About SPRINT PNS
All the above are great things to keep in mind as you consider PNS for a patient. If you do decide that a patient may benefit from PNS, here are some helpful talking points for discussing the SPRINT PNS System with your patient.
- SPRINT PNS is a minimally-invasive treatment option. Unlike many other options, SPRINT PNS does not involve a permanent implant or nerve and tissue destruction.
- SPRINT PNS is a short-term, 60-day treatment that can provide significant and sustained pain relief that endures long after lead withdrawal. Patients can continue performing most daily activities while avoiding bathing.
- The device sends mild electrical pulses to the nerves, which can help provide relief. Also, the level of stimulation is controllable by the patient via a hand-held remote – the patient is in control at all times.
- Across 30+ publications, 75% of patients reported significant and sustained pain relief.
After talking to a patient about SPRINT PNS, you can refer patients to download this helpful informational brochure or suggest they watch one of our SPRINT PNS patient story videos.
The SPRINT PNS System is indicated for up to 60 days in the back and/or extremities for: (i) Symptomatic relief of chronic, intractable pain, post-surgical and post-traumatic acute pain; (ii) Symptomatic relief of post-traumatic pain; and (iii) Symptomatic relief of post-operative pain. The SPRINT PNS System is not intended to treat pain in the craniofacial region.
Physicians should use their best judgment when deciding when to use the SPRINT PNS System. For more information see the SPRINT PNS System IFU. Most common adverse events are skin irritation and erythema. Results may vary. Rx only.