Spinal Cord Stimulation for Diabetic Neuropathy

July 12, 2022


If you live with diabetes, then you may have experienced painful diabetic neuropathy or PDN.

It's a type of nerve damage that causes numbness, burning, or tingling most often in the feet and legs, and sometimes in the hands and arms. According to William S. Raoofi, M.D., a board certified pain management specialist with The Center for Interventional Pain Medicine at Mercy, there's a new treatment that can help, spinal cord stimulation. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved this device which is implanted in the spinal cord.

"I describe it as kind of like a pacemaker that people have for the heart, but for the spinal cord. Instead of modulating electrical stimulation to the heart, it's modulating electrical signals that are sent in the spinal cord. So, we can essentially scramble or turn down certain nerve fibers that are carrying pain signals," Dr. Raoofi said.

Dr. Raoofi notes that the outpatient procedure reduces and may even eliminate the need for oral pain medications. Patients can adjust its intensity based on their pain level and they can also recharge it wirelessly.

View Dr. Raoofi's interview about spinal cord stimulation for relieving diabetic neuropathy pain.

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in Downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed, acute care, university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a high-performing Maryland hospital (U.S. News & World Report); has achieved an overall 5-Star quality, safety, and patient experience rating (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services); is A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade); and is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet™ hospital. Mercy Health Services is a not-for-profit health system and the parent company of Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Personal Physicians.

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