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Medical Malpractice / June 10, 2019

How Safe are Spinal Cord Stimulators?

Pain management: for those suffering from chronic, debilitating pain, any solution is worth trying. But what if the solution to your pain problem winds up causing more problems than you had to start with? In that case, you may wish to seek the advice of an experienced Jackson medical malpractice attorney.

Pain Panacea?

Patients by the millions have turned to trusted physicians in search of a remedy for their pain. What is a safe alternative to opioids? The latest innovation in the medical field has been ballyhooed as a safe way to manage main, particularly for aging patients: spinal cord stimulators. They work by sending electrical currents through the body as a blockade to pain signals, intervening before the pain signals reach the brain. Sounds simple, right? But the problems associated with the devices have been mounting.

Side Effects

Manufacturers claim that their devices are perfectly safe, and point to the 60,000 implants that occur every year as proof of such. Likewise, the physicians who specialize in the procedure to implant the stimulators assert that they are a godsend to many people seeking pain relief. Nonetheless, the impact of these shock systems has been devastating to thousands of people across the country. In fact, the stimulators rank number three on the list of injury-causing devices according to the USDA, topping 80,000 injuries in the past decade. The only devices with more issues are insulin pumps and hip replacements. The list of complaints associated with these stimulators include:

  • Burns;
  • Nerve damage;
  • Shocks that disturb both waking and sleeping activity;
  • Muscle weakness;
  • Paraplagia.

In addition to these devastating side effects, over 500 deaths have been linked to these devices.

FDA Shortcomings

Although these devices have been approved for use by the FDA, the truth is, there has been very little done in terms of clinical testing on the stimulators. An investigation by global medical partners concluded that the FDA has caused serious risk to Americans by rushing the approval process for such items; then it reacts painfully slowly when problems occur. Only in rare instances are devices withdrawn from the market, despite evidence that they are linked to serious injuries and death. Some link this problem to the billions of dollars spent by medical device makers to influence the very organizations meant to regulate the market, as well as to physicians and hospitals. In just the past couple of years, four leading spinal cord stimulator manufacturers have spent over $22 million to attempt to influence laws and codes related to their businesses. One company was fined nearly $3 million for harming patients and attempting to influence doctors with financial incentives.

Losing Faith

If you’ve lost faith in the medical profession after a spinal cord stimulator amplified your health issues, you may be at your wit’s end. Now is the time to get the heavy hitters at the Jackson office of Derek L. Hall, PC working for you. We understand your pain and anger, and will fight for justice on your behalf. Contact our Jackson office today for a free, confidential consultation.


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