Wilson First in Southeastern United States to Implant Three Lead Spinal Cord Stimulation System
A veteran of all aspects of anesthesia care, Dr. Wilson brings the latest scientific advances in medication and pain alleviation therapies to Salisbury, North Carolina. By opening Piedmont Interventional Pain Care, PA, Dr. Wilson has dedicated his energy and resources to treating victims of acute or chronic debilitating pain, especially those who may have thought they could never be helped.
For four long years, Roberta Hill of Gold Hill, North Carolina, was plagued with lower back and leg pain. The pain was so debilitating, it made even the simple tasks of standing and walking increasingly difficult.
A car accident in 2002 left Roberta with a lot of nerve damage and a challenging new way of life. Just as most chronic pain sufferers will tell you, the constant pain affects everything you do. ” It makes you depressed…it hurts to walk…it hurts not to walk…and you are afraid to do anything. It is a vicious cycle.” Ms. Hill explains.
A teacher for exceptional children at East Rowan High School, Ms. Hill knew she needed some help to get back to her active lifestyle. Ms. Hill found a pain specialist from Charlotte who implanted a spinal cord stimulator under the skin in her back in an effort to alleviate her pain. Spinal cord stimulators are comprised of a small wire (called a lead) that is connected to a power source. The power source is typically surgically implanted under the patient’s skin. The stimulator transmits low-level electrical signals through the lead to spinal nerves to cover or block pain signals from reaching the brain. A magnetic remote controls the current and can turn it on, off and adjust the intensity. The stimulator helped control some of the pain in one leg, but was far from satisfactory relief, Ms. Hill explained.
During the course of her care, her doctor in Charlotte moved, deeming it necessary to find another physician. She took this charge very seriously, interviewing several physicians and choosing to entrust her care with Dr. Robert Wilson from Piedmont Interventional Pain Care in Salisbury. Board certified in both anesthesia and pain medicine, Ms. Hill said she was impressed by the way Dr. Wilson really listened to her and took her individual needs in mind when recommending treatment options.
“He is very different. He actually listens to the patient and takes that into consideration before he even looks at any test or anything. He’s thorough and experienced,” Ms. Hill said. “He also talks to me on a level that an average person can understand. That is important when it comes to surgery. He talks to me, not at me, and he includes me in decisions – he gives the options and lets me make a decision,” she explained.
In September 2006, Ms. Hill called Dr. Wilson’s office with an urgent need. Her battery had expired in her stimulator leaving her with unbearable pain. Ms. Hill said Dr. Wilson got her into the office right away, and he suggested that she consider another spinal cord stimulator with three leads to help better manage her pain. She consented, and in less than a week, Dr. Wilson surgically implanted the new device and was the first first physician in the southeast to implant a system with a three lead array.
The Medtronic Restore rechargeable neurostimulator was connected to a three lead array with 16 independently controlled electrodes. In addition to covering extremity pain, this electrode configuration allows for shielding of the motor fibers so that current can be directed to the deeper low back fibers.
“It has been a very positive experience – and there are days that I don’t feel very positive,” Roberta said. “He’s (Dr. Wilson) one of the best doctors I have been to and I recommend him to everybody. He is a very, caring man – I really think a lot of him. He is so genuine.”
“He has just been so wonderful to me…and I don’t just recommend doctors. I’ve been in back pain all my life – even before the accident – It’s just been a blessing.”
Dr. Wilson is pleased to offer these life-altering options to his patients – many who come to him feeling like there is little hope. “I’ve seen people with the most intense, debilitating pain return to being able to live their lives with a measure of welcome normality,” says Dr. Wilson. “The techniques we practice are the latest medical advances in the field, and offer promise and relief for all those who thought they would have to endure constant pain for the rest of their lives.”
Dr. Robert Wilson is Board Certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology. He received his Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Oklahoma City, and spent his residency in anesthesiology at Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.
“Today’s advances give us a range of choices in caring for chronic pain the likes of which we have never seen before,” says Dr. Wilson. “We hope to get the word out to those who think there is no help or hope for them. Today, there most certainly is.”