SPRINT PNS; Back Pain (Post-cancer treatment)
Five years ago, Jordan was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which had spread through his abdomen, swelling the lymph nodes in the area. The swelling put intense pressure on his spine, herniating some of his spinal discs. Now this young father of three not only had to deal with a life-threatening disease, but also with intense back pain that didn’t seem to end no matter what he tried.
“As I went through treatment, I just had to deal with the pain in my back,” he says. But once his cancer treatment was finished, he focused his attention on his pain.
Eventually, he had to take time off from his physically demanding job as an automobile assembly line worker to seek help. He saw a surgeon who performed a couple of discectomies, which removed parts of the affected spinal discs to relieve pressure on the nerves, but unfortunately, neither surgery provided any real pain relief.
“I was absolutely miserable. I really couldn’t do much of anything. I felt useless,” Jordan recalls.
Relief that never lasted
After the discectomies, Jordan saw a series of specialists who gave him injections and tried ablating — or burning — his nerves to reduce the pain. These measures helped the pain, but the relief never lasted. “It got to the point where I was barely walking at all, and when I did, I had to use a cane. I pretty much sat around the house and watched Netflix,” says Jordan. He turned to food for comfort, and combined with the lack of exercise, he gained 80 pounds.
He says his pain negatively impacted every single aspect of his life. “My marriage, my relationship with my kids, friends, work, eating, sleeping. I mean, pain was my life; that’s what it was like 24/7. I just couldn’t see a future where I wouldn’t be in pain.”
Jordan had been alternating between the shots and the ablations but knew he could only have those procedures done so many times because, long-term, they can pose health risks. That’s why Jordan’s pain specialist recommended trying the SPRINT® Peripheral Nerve Stimulation (PNS) System from SPR Therapeutics and introduced Jordan to Rudy, an SPR Therapeutics representative. “Rudy explained how SPRINT PNS worked and I was excited to try it. My doctor said he believed I would be able to see some improvement in my pain with this treatment.”
A long road to insurance coverage
Unfortunately, Jordan’s insurance would not initially approve the use of SPRINT PNS, which was a huge disappointment. “Because of the cancer, it was hard to get my insurance company to approve a lot of things. It was a constant battle,” recalls Jordan. “Paying for SPRINT out of pocket was not an option. It was just one more thing that wasn’t going right in my life.”
Despite multiple denials of coverage from his insurance company, the SPRcare Patient Access team, who specialize in advocating for patients through the insurance appeals process, continued working for months to appeal the decision. Eventually, Jordan’s case came before an Independent Review Organization, or IRO, which ruled on behalf of Jordan getting SPRINT PNS for his pain.
“I remember getting a letter in the mail and thinking it was just another rejection, but the very last page said, ‘denial overturned,’ and I couldn’t believe it. I just gave the papers to my wife and had her read them. It brought me to tears knowing that finally, something was going right.”
Once he began treatment for his pain, Jordan says it took about two weeks before he noticed a difference. “That’s when the pain started to feel less intense and then it slowly went away. Every week there was progress.” After his 60-day treatment, he says he was about 95 percent pain free.
“It was the first time in almost five years, I didn’t have excruciating pain,” says Jordan, adding, “Last year I was debating quitting my job because I couldn’t deal with the pain anymore, but after SPRINT, I haven’t had any issues with my back even after working long hours on the assembly line.”
Jordan says he spent the summer outside playing basketball and catch with his kids, making up for lost time. And he’s back to his original weight. “When I look at pictures in Facebook of me trying to walk with a cane the previous summer, I can’t believe the difference,” recalls Jordan. “It feels like I got my life back.”
And more good news was on the way for Jordan: “My oncologist called me ‘cured’ at my last appointment a couple of months ago. The chance of that cancer coming back is almost zero,” he says with a huge smile.
The SPRINT PNS System is indicated for up to 60 days 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 be placed in the region innervated by the cranial and facial nerves.
Each patient’s testimonial is the result of each patient’s unique situation resulting in varying responses, experiences, risks, and outcomes to the SPRINT PNS System. The patient experiences shared on this page are not medical advice and should not be substituted for the independent medical judgment of a trained healthcare professional. Discuss your options and use of the SPRINT PNS System with your medical provider. 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 side effects are skin irritation and erythema. Results may vary. Rx only.