SPRINT PNS for nerve pain
“Now he’s back to laughing with his friends again.”
Steven Jinks loves staying active. In fact, Steven, who has intellectual disabilities, is well known in his local chapter of the Special Olympics, where he has played softball, volleyball, and floor hockey since he was 15 years old. His activities all but stopped after being injured at work twice in the course of a few months.
A machine mishap at the grocery store where Steven works sent a heavy load of bottles into his chest, knocking him to the ground. “He got hit with about 125 pounds of dead weight,” says Steven’s father Robert. About five months later, as Steven was returning carts from the parking lot, his chest was injured again.
Both times Steven went to the emergency room, but the x-rays taken there didn’t detect his broken ribs. “It took an MRI four months later before they found out that his ribs were broken,” says Robert. “We also learned that Steven had some nerve damage.”
Poor sleep and a lot of pain
Robert says Steven would get a bulge sticking out of his ribs from fluid build-up around the affected nerve, and when he rolled onto his side during sleep, he’d wake up screaming in pain. “He would have these flare ups that would press on his lungs, and he couldn’t breathe.”
“A good day for us was when Steven’s pain was between a five and six on the pain scale, but it was often at an eight or 10,” says Robert.
They tried physical therapy, but the exercises caused more flair ups. They also tried pain patches and creams because Steven’s anti-seizure medications prohibited him from taking prescription pain medications. These measures had very limited effect on his pain, however. Meanwhile, Steven gained 30 pounds and developed diabetes due to his lack of physical activity.
One day, Steven’s mom Pat was looking online for ideas to treat Steven’s pain and she happened across a video about the SPRINT® PNS System. “When my mom showed me the video, I said to her, ‘I want to try it,’” says Steven. By then, Steven had been seeing Dr. Jonathan Anthony Kost, a pain specialist at Hartford HealthCare. It turns out Dr. Kost was familiar with the SPRINT system, and he ordered it for Steven’s pain.
Once they received Worker’s Compensation approval, Dr. Kost implanted the system in his back. It took a couple weeks before Steven felt relief, says Robert, because they realized he needed to turn up the stimulation on his remote. “After that, we noticed he was coming home from work with a lot more energy.”
Since his 60-day treatment ended, Steven has begun mowing his neighbor’s grass, exercising, and getting back into shape. Robert says Steven’s pain now runs at about a three or four on the scale. “He’ll never be 100 percent pain free, but his sleep has improved and he’s so much happier,” says Robert.
“As parents, we want to see him happy and involved in his activities. When he was in pain, he was depressed. Now he’s back to laughing with his friends again. We feel so good about that.”