UAMS is taking part in a clinical trial to test a new kind of spinal cord stimulation device in patients with severe chronic pain. Under the direction of clinical researcher Erika Petersen, M.D., in January 2021, Cornelia Ann Smith of Calico Rock, Arkansas, became the first person at UAMS to have the experimental device implanted for pain following previous neck surgery.
Cornelia Ann Smith:
I was sitting on the couch and not hurting, and I thought, “This is amazing.” I had a severe pain in my right shoulder under the shoulder blade. After speaking with her, and her confidence in the machine, and her confidence in the procedure, I was all for it, 100%.
Dr. Erika A. Petersen:
I’m just so happy for Mrs. Smith. She was really game to give it a shot and be the first patient in Arkansas to try this device, and she has had amazing results.
We talked about what her goal should be. She wanted to be able to garden and go fishing and play with her grandchildren. And now, beyond six months after having the stimulator, she’s doing all of that and more. And the last time I talked to her, she said she didn’t have a single bit of her pain, which is phenomenal.
This one has a lot more automation because of the closed loop, so that people don’t need to be touching their remote control to make those adjustments from hour to hour or minute to minute.
Being part of a research study — or this research study — it’s been a pleasant experience, it’s been eye-opening, and now I tell everybody that has a back problem about what I have and what it can do for them. And of course, the people — everybody in the research department and UAMS has just been wonderful.