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How a Spinal Cord Stimulator Can Eliminate Chronic Pain

March 08, 2019

When he slipped and fell on a snowy driveway during the winter or 2017 and injured his back, Christian Doll began an arduous journey to regain a life free of pain.  The chronic pain he felt from the injury he sustained lead him to seek numerous treatments, which, he said mostly involved heavy medications, including steroid shots and opioids, to help him cope with the pain.

A year and half after his accident, he was referred to the Hartford Hospital Pain Treatment Center where he met with Dr. Ricardo Taboada, a meeting, Doll said, changed his life for the better.

“From the moment I walked into the Pain Treatment Center, I began to feel better,” Doll said.  “Everyone was so accommodating and friendly that I immediately knew I had made the right choice.  Dr. Taboada talked to me about all of my options and really put my mind at ease about what the next steps I needed to take where.”

After discussing all of the options available to him, Doll and Taboada decided on a procedure to have a spinal cord stimulator temporarily implanted in Doll’s back.  Done by Taboada at the Pain Treatment Center, this procedure entails surgically placing a spinal cord stimulator (SCS) device under the skin that sends a mild electric current to the spinal cord. A small wire carries the current from a pulse generator to the nerve fibers of the spinal cord. When turned on, the SCS stimulates the nerves in the area where pain is felt. Pain is reduced because the electrical pulses modify and mask the pain signal from reaching the brain.

Following the procedure, Doll began to feel the results right away and said he was amazed at how much it improved his quality of life.  After testing the SCS for several days, he and Taboada decided to get a permanent device implanted, which was done by Dr. Joel Bauman, a neurosurgeon with the Hartford HealthCare Medical Group.  Now pain free, Doll said his experience with the Pain Treatment Center has given him a “new lease on life.”

“I am so grateful for how well this has turned out for me and that is thanks to the amazing care I received from start to finish,” he said.  “I am now able to do a lot of the things that I used to do before my accident, which has been a very humbling experience.”

Dr. Taboada, and all of the providers at the Pain Treatment at Hartford Hospital, diagnose patients’ sources of discomfort and provide a thorough, goal-oriented plan to minimize pain and restore functionality.

For more information about the Hartford Hospital Pain Treatment Center, click here.