Reposted from Timesofmalta.com
People suffering from chronic pain will be able to undergo a new procedure called dorsal column stimulation which was launched this morning by Health Minister Joseph Cassar.
So far two patients have undergone this procedure. A third operation is planned for April. Each intervention costs €35,000, Dr Cassar said during a press conference at Mater Dei Hospital – where the procedure is offered.
Dr Marilyn Casha, from the hospital’s pain clinic, explained that the procedure was being offered to patients suffering from two conditions: complex regional pain syndrome and failed back surgery syndrome.
It involves inserting a “wire pipe”, containing eight electrodes, into the spinal cord. The wire emits electrical pulses that correct the pain-generating pulses emitted by the spinal cord. The patient can control the pulses generated by the device through a remote control, depending on the level of pain.
Karl Attard, 23, was the second person to have underdone this surgery. He shared his experience this morning. The young chef had hurt himself about five years ago when he slipped at work, injuring his leg. But instead of getting better, the pain spread throughout his body causing an “invisible disability” that stopped him from working. Now that he had undergone the procedure and intends to start working again.