BRADENTON, Fla. — Dr. Richard H. Bundschu, an interventional pain management specialist with Coastal Orthopedics, recently performed his 100th Nevro spinal cord stimulation (SCS) trial.
Dr. Bundschu was one of the principal investigators for the Nevro study — a landmark clinical trial to test the effectiveness of the Silicon Valley-based medical device company’s spinal cord stimulators in treating ongoing upper and lower extremity pain. He is one of only a handful of physicians across the country that has accomplished this milestone.
Chronic pain affects approximately 100 million Americans. Spinal cord stimulators have traditionally been used to treat chronic pain in the lower back, torso and legs when medications, injections and physical therapy prove ineffective.
“Chronic pain is a nightmare, and it just makes people miserable,” Dr. Bundschu said. “The whole idea is that this is not the first line of therapy. It’s a very high-tech option for those patients who have tried everything to get relief and nothing works. One of the reasons I became a pain management physician was because of the incredible positive impact that spinal cord stimulators can have on a person’s quality of life. The patient becomes themselves again.”
Coastal Orthopedics was one of six sites nationwide selected to participate in the Nevro study in 2015, which is at the forefront of a possible shift in the way pain management physicians help their patients manage chronic neck and arm pain. Coastal Orthopedics is also one of 10 sites nationwide in the 2012 study that evaluated chronic lower back and leg pain.
The pivotal studies were the largest prospective randomized clinical trial ever conducted to assess the treatment of chronic back and leg pain and chronic neck and arm pain, and the first to evaluate comparative effectiveness of SCS therapies.
Dr. Bundschu has been a leading pain management researcher for several years and previously worked with Nevro on two studies, including a lower back study, that have helped the company’s groundbreaking products earn U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.
Spinal cord stimulators work by applying an electrical current to the spinal nerves, which disrupts the flow of pain signals that travel to the brain. To install a stimulator, Dr. Bundschu inserts thin electrodes through a small incision in the back and then threads the electrodes next to the spinal column. The electrodes are attached to a small battery implanted in the body, typically above the hip and below the rib cage in the area generally referred to as a “love handle,” which sends the signal that disrupts pain.
Patients are then given a remote control where they can select a series of programs, ranging from one to five, depending on their level of pain. The Nevro study involves up to 75 patients in the U.S., 10-15 of whom are patients of Dr. Bundschu.
About Coastal Orthopedics
Founded in 1973 and based in Bradenton, Fla., Coastal Orthopedics is home to 17 orthopedic surgeons and pain management physicians who maintain hospital affiliations with Blake Medical Center, Manatee Memorial Hospital and Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. In addition to three offices and two ambulatory surgery centers each servicing Florida’s West Coast, Coastal Orthopedics’ board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians and surgeons provide patients with the very latest in pain and orthopedic treatment technology. The company strives to repair and heal injuries relating to the entire musculoskeletal system.
For more than 40 years, its highly skilled staff of physicians and surgeons has treated patients in specialty care, including sports medicine, joint replacement, pain management and rehabilitation. Patients can experience restoration of function both surgically and non-surgically through the use of physician-guided strengthening, therapy, medications, injections and stretching. For more information, please visit CoastalOrthopedics.com or call 941-792-1404.
About Dr. Richard H. Bundschu
Dr. Richard H. Bundschu is an internationally recognized leader in pain management who is proficient with spinal injections, facet injections, radio-frequency vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty and implantable spinal cord stimulators. He received his doctor of medicine from the University of Miami, where he also completed a residency in anesthesia and a fellowship in pain management. As a recognized expert, he trains other pain management physicians for the International Spinal Interventional Society and maintains board certifications with the American Board of Anesthesiology, the American Board of Pain Medicine, the American Board of Pain Management and the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians.