New device may help manage pain, reduce number of opioid prescriptions

New device may help manage pain, reduce number of opioid prescriptions
Pain medicine specialist Dr. Eugene Pereira says the device uses electricity to block pain from traveling to the brain. (Source: NBC)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA/NBC) - The number of opioid prescriptions is decreasing.

And now, doctors in Florida are implementing a new pain device to get that number even lower.

Karen McAvoy had two knee surgeries, resulting in a lot of scar tissue, and a lot of pain. She says cortisone shots just weren't working.

"I got tired of taking the pain pills because they were like eating candy they weren't doing anything," said McAvoy

“It is becoming even more relevant in this day and age where over 70-thousand people are dying in the country from opioid misuse or overdose,” Pain medicine specialist Dr. Eugene Pereira said.

Dr. Pereira says this device uses electricity to block pain from traveling to the brain. An electrode, or lead, is placed into what Pereira calls a ‘sweet spot’ for each person’s location of pain.

That’s what’s happening under an incision in McAvoy’s lower back. She has had the device for about eight weeks since her outpatient procedure.

"I went home the same day, probably about two hours later," said McAvoy.

Now she can do things we take for granted, like housework and walking her dog. All she has to do is charge the device every three days.

Doctors say not everyone is a candidate for the device, but the beauty of it is you can test out the technology before deciding to get it permanently implanted.

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