Spinal Cord Stimulator Litigation – Atlanta Trial Attorneys
According to a 2012 study from the National Health Institute (NIH), more than 11% of Americans suffer from chronic pain. That translates to more than 25 million people in the US who suffer pain in some way for months or even years. The same study also found that almost 18% of Americans suffer from pain they labeled as “severe.”
Many chronic pain sufferers are willing to try anything to alleviate some of their consistent and excessive levels of discomfort. This has led to a dramatic increase in patients turning to spinal cord stimulators for relief. While many medical device companies, pain management doctors, and neurosurgeons recommend the procedure, there are also dangerous risks associated with these devices that in some cases have led to permanent injuries affecting many patients’ quality of life.
What are Spinal Cord Stimulators?
Spinal cord stimulators are small medical devices – similar to pacemakers – that are implanted in the body to mask pain signals before they reach the brain. The devices send mild electric currents to the spinal cord and stimulate the affected nerve fibers.
Because spinal cord stimulators block pain signals from reaching the brain and do not eliminate the source of the patient’s suffering, many doctors and pain management specialists encourage patients to first undergo a “trial stimulation.” Some patients who undergo the trial stimulation choose not to move forward with the permanent implantation if the tingling sensation produced proves too much for them or if the stimulation does not alleviate enough of their pain. For those who can tolerate the trial stimulation, the next option is permanent implantation of the device.
Why are Spinal Cord Stimulators Recommended by Professionals?
Doctors, pain management specialists, neurosurgeons, and medical device companies have promoted spinal cord stimulators to patients for years. As NBC News reports, they are “one of the fastest-growing products in the $400 billion medical device industry.”
According to the Mayfield Clinic, this treatment is often suggested in an effort to decrease patients’ dependence on opioid pain medications. This has become especially relevant in recent years with the country’s opioid epidemic. Doctors have also recommended these for older patients with less prescription options due to various illnesses and allergies.
Risks Involved with Spinal Cord Stimulation
A new AP investigation found that spinal cord stimulators account for the third highest number of injury reports among medical devices.
The FDA requires minimal clinical testing before approving spinal implants and have received more than 80,000 incident reports in the past decade alone. Injuries that result from spinal cord stimulators can range from being burned or shocked to horrifying accounts of paraplegia.
Medical device companies and the surgeons who profit from these implants insist they are safe – but are they looking out for their own interests or their patients? Even the FDA tends to side with these companies, rarely pulling devices off the market even when significant problems arise. In fact, many surgeons and hospitals are compensated directly from the medical device companies under the guise of consulting and research fees.
How Can an Atlanta Defective Medical Device and Product Liability Lawyer Help?
Lawsuits involving procedures like spinal cord stimulators can be some of the most complex and expensive cases to pursue. The attorneys at Glass & Robson work with knowledgeable and well-credentialed expert witnesses to develop scientific evidence and testimony to pursue a claim for damages.
Our firm advises clients on the best course of action for getting full and complete compensation for their injuries from all responsible parties. Many times it is important for the attorney to secure key evidence early and to make sure all individuals in possession of this evidence take appropriate steps to preserve it.
The lawyers in our firm have gone up against some of the biggest corporations and insurance companies in the country fighting on behalf of our clients for justice. We are ready to help you get the money you need to move forward after you or someone you love has been harmed by a spinal cord stimulator. Please give us a call at (404) 751-4702 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.