SPRINT PNS for low back pain
As a high school and college athlete, Luke was used to pain. However, a few years ago when he started to feel sharp pains in his back, he knew something was different. “I tore up my knees pretty good and my shoulder from throwing baseballs when I was younger,” he says. “I’ve had surgeries and procedures, but the pain was nothing at all like what I was feeling in my back.”
At first, he hoped it would go away on its own, but it started to worsen. That’s when he contacted his doctor, who referred him to a pain specialist. “I visited one guy and the first thing he did was an injection of cortisone. That helped a lot for the first four or five months, but then the pain started to come back,” explains Luke, who is an assistant manager at his family’s butcher shop.
This time, the pain was worse than before. The doctor couldn’t pinpoint exactly where the pain was coming from though, despite doing a CAT scan and an MRI, so Luke was referred elsewhere, and then elsewhere again. Each time, the consensus was the same: they didn’t know the cause of his pain. “There was no bulged disc they could just go in and fix with surgery,” says Luke. “It seemed like it was just trial and error and nobody really had a concrete answer how to fix the pain.”
In the meantime, Luke continued to work. “It was tough; the pain was always so random, so I never knew what would set it off … it just kind of wore me down mentally and physically.”
Six specialists in five years
In all, Luke had gone to six different specialists over five years. They each tried different medications, and one of them considered doing a nerve ablation, but then decided not to. “The doctor said, ‘you know what Luke? You’re 30 years old. Most times I do this procedure on someone much older. Because when we go in there, we’re going to damage a bunch of muscles that stabilize your spine, and I just don’t know what that will look like in 10 years if we go in and do that,’” Luke recalls.
Then, Luke says, “the doctor mentioned that his buddy across the street was doing this new thing called SPRINT.” The doctor then referred Luke to his friend, Dr. Anand Navarasala of Franciscan Health Indianapolis. “I was pretty pumped about it when the doctor explained what SPRINT was,” says Luke.
SPRINT changed everything for Luke
On the day of the procedure, Dr. Navarasala inserted the lead into Luke’s left side first. Then two weeks later, inserted another lead into Luke’s right side. “After a couple weeks I was like, ‘yeah I feel a little bit better.’ Then another week, I feel a little bit better and so on. And then all of a sudden at week three or four, I got to the point where there was basically no pain,” explains Luke.
“My mental health is just 100% better because I’m not walking around expecting to have pain every time I take a step … I’m able to work at our shop and I can more stuff outside. This past month or two, I’ve been doing a lot of deer hunting and haven’t had any trouble with my back.”
A baby on the way
Luke says in the middle of dealing with the pain, he met and married his wife, Karlee, and they are now expecting their first child. “She saw all I went through. And now, it’s such a relief for her because she sees me being able to do more things that I enjoy and not just be in pain all the time.”
Says Luke: “I wish that first guy would’ve sent me right over to get SPRINT, but that’s not how it worked out. It was a long process to get here, but I’m glad I found SPRINT.”