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UAMS neurosurgeon is testing devices designed to relieve pain for amputees and diabetics

UAMS neurosurgeon is testing devices designed to relieve pain for amputees and diabetics

A neurosurgeon at UAMS is using new pieces of technology to provide pain relief for amputees and diabetics.

It may be roughly the size of a business card, but according to Dr. Erika Petersen, a neurosurgeon at UAMS, the little device from Neuros Medical makes a world of an improvement for an amputee's life when it comes to pain.

"It is a massive difference for patients," she said.

"The signal from the device," Petersen demonstrated, "which is all implanted under the skin and then this electrode here has the little electrode contacts on it, wraps around a nerve in the leg and can create the electrical signal around that nerve."

It's technology that separates UAMS as the only place in Arkansas to test it and one of a few centers across the country to see its benefits.

"We are doing something for people in our state that they don't have to travel for and that is immensely gratifying," Petersen said.

She's not stopping here.

Petersen is also working with Senza Spinal Cord Stimulation, a device that handles pain for people with diabetic neuropathy by sending a wire into the spinal canal to help control pain signals being sent to the brain.

"These are not cures for pain,” Petersen said, “but there are ways to manage it and try to manage it in a way that decreases the side effects as well. Again, if we can do that with less medication and fewer side effects, then that's a great way to do it."

With diabetes being so prevalent in Arkansas, Petersen is hoping to recruit roughly 50 patients to have that device implanted.

If you're interested in finding out if you're eligible to receive the implant, contact the study coordinator at UAMS Translational Research Institute at (501) 398-8622.

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