Robert Levy, MD, PhD, Director of the Marcus Neuroscience Institute (MNI) at Boca Raton Regional Hospital is the first physician in the state of Florida to use the latest and most advanced form of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) as a method to treat patients with chronic back and leg pain. The Senza® SCS system, developed by Nevro Corporation, is a spinal cord stimulator that has demonstrated superior results as compared to standard stimulation systems, with patients achieving approximately a 50% greater improvement in pain score than those with traditional SCS therapy.
Pain in general is the most common reason for physician visits in the United States. Chronic pain can significantly interfere with a person’s quality of life and functionality. There are a variety of treatment options for chronic pain that range from medications to surgical interventions.
SCS offers a treatment option for chronic back and leg pain that uses electrical pulses to alter the transmission of abnormal pain signals to the brain. The Senza System is the only SCS that provides high-frequency (HF), short-duration electrical pulses to the spinal cord at a rate of up to 10,000 per second to effectively block pain. Conventional, low-frequency stimulation provides typically between 40 and 60 electrical pulses per second and is intended to mask the pain through paresthesias, which are tingling feelings that overlap the pain distribution. In essence, low-frequency SCS replaces or lessens one acute sensation with another less debilitating yet distracting one. On the contrary, with the Senza System’s use of HF, short bursts of electricity attack the pain signal at its very source.
“It is rare to come across a medical technology that produces such excellent clinical results versus comparative therapies and I am excited to incorporate this into our capabilities at MNI,” said Dr. Levy. “The results of a randomized controlled study done by Senza have shown that this technology is superior versus traditional SCS for back and leg pain and is a spinal cord stimulation system that will provide our patients with distinct advantages and more desirable outcomes.”
The key components of the SCS system are leads, an implantable pulse generator (IPG), patient remote control and a portable charging system. The IPG is surgically placed under the skin, usually in the buttock or the abdomen, and is similar in function and appearance to a pacemaker. It is attached to leads, which are thin wires placed in the spinal epidural space that deliver precise pulses from the IPG to the spinal cord. The remote control device allows the patient to turn the system on and off and adjust stimulation within parameters set by physicians. The charging system is used by the patient to recharge the IPG battery after it is implanted.
Nevro’s Senza® SCS system was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this past May and included what is called “superiority labeling.” This indicates the technology was found to be statistically superior to traditional SCS therapy in terms of response rate and magnitude of pain relief for patients with back and leg pain. The FDA typically does not include such distinctions in their approvals. Because it is paresthesia-free, the System is also the only SCS therapy approved by the FDA to be used without patient restrictions on motor vehicle operation while receiving therapy.
About Boca Raton Regional Hospital – Advancing the boundaries of medicine.
Boca Raton Regional Hospital is an advanced, tertiary medical center (www.BRRH.com) with 400 beds and more than 800 primary and specialty physicians on staff. The Hospital is a recognized leader in oncology, cardiovascular disease and surgery, minimally invasive surgery, orthopedics, women’s health, emergency medicine and the neurosciences, all of which offer state-of-the-art diagnostic and imaging capabilities. The Hospital is a designated Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).
Boca Raton Regional Hospital was the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ for 10 years running and was named one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, both by Healthgrades®. Boca Raton Regional Hospital was also recognized in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015–2016 Best Hospitals listing as a top-ranked hospital in the South Florida metropolitan area for the fourth time in the last five years.