Treatment for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Severe Nerve-Related Plain
Spinal cord stimulation is a procedure that uses an electrical current to treat chronic pain. At Barnes-Jewish Hospital, a doctor implants a small pulse generator in the back that sends electrical pulses to the spinal cord. These pulses impede the nerve impulses that make you feel pain.
Physicians at Barnes-Jewish West County recommend spinal cord stimulation to patients who suffer from severe nerve-related pain or numbness and complex regional pain syndrome.
Amy’s Story: Reaching Pain Management Goals with Spinal Cord Stimulation
Amy Friedel, 25, tells everyone that the Pain Management Center and Dr. Dave, in particular, gave her a life she didn’t think she would have when she was a teenager in chronic pain. By age 16, Friedel had suffered numerous ankle sprains from playing sports that led to severe pain in her right ankle. For more than 10 months, seven of which she spent on crutches, Friedel felt extreme pain at all times, she says. “I thought I was never going to walk again without crutches,” she says. “I saw a number of different specialists until I was finally referred to Dr. Dave by his wife, who is also a pain management doctor.”
Although Friedel had numerous injections that alleviated cold spells and swelling she was experiencing, the pain was still constant. Dr. Dave thought Friedel would be a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation, which involves implanting a stimulator in a patient’s back that sends electrical signals to the spine, masking the pain signals.
She first had a trial stimulator inserted that provided her 90 percent to 100 percent pain relief. A more permanent stimulator was implanted under Friedel’s skin between her hip and spine on her left side in 2005. Four years later, she had a new stimulator, operated by a rechargeable battery,
“I can charge the stimulator whenever needed, and I don’t always have to turn it on,” she says. “Dr. Dave believed in my pain and gave me this so that I could have a life.”
Friedel says the pain relief led her to follow her dream of graduating valedictorian of her high school class, completing her degree in biology and pre-med in college and the accelerated nursing program at the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College.
Now a nurse at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Friedel says she doesn’t take any pain medication and only uses the stimulator when needed. She leads an active life with her boyfriend, Kyle, and because she has little or no pain, she exercises regularly.
“Dr. Dave and his staff, including his amazing nurse Nancy Edele are there for you emotionally and mentally and always want the best for you,” Friedel says. “He’s why I went into medicine. I wanted to make that difference in someone’s life like he did for me.”
Office Location at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital
Pain Management Center, BJC HealthCare
1044 N. Mason, Suite L30
Medical Office Building 4
Creve Coeur, MO 63141
Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital is conveniently located just one mile west of I-270 in Creve Coeur, Missouri — a west county suburb of St. Louis.
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For immediate assistance, please call 314.996.8000 for general information, or call 314.542.WEST (9378) for physician referral.
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