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DRG device helps local woman recover from chronic pain

Imaging at Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville showed lead wires from a DRG Stimulator are placed perfectly in 43-year-old Wendy Curley's spine. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Imaging at Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville showed lead wires from a DRG Stimulator are placed perfectly in 43-year-old Wendy Curley's spine.

She's needed relief since double-knee replacement surgery at 29.

"I had pain from the middle of my thigh down to my shin that was burning and would not go away," recalled Curley. "It was constant."

"This diagnosis she had, Reflex Sympathy Dystrophy -- now we call it Complex Regional Pain Syndrome -- is a severely debilitating pain condition... one of the worst we treat on pain medicine," Dr. Ed Lewis of Comprehensive Pain Consultants said.

Previous procedures for Curley didn't work, and medication made her sleepy. But stimulating a dorsal root ganglion by way of a lead wire attached to an implanted electrical device proved worth a try.

The procedure lasted about 45 minutes and was successful.

"Over a few months, the pain eventually subsided totally, and I felt no pain after that point," Curley said.

Reporter: "First time in 14 years?"

"Yes, for the first time," she replied.

"(She takes) no pain medicine, no adjunctive pain medicine," Lewis remarked. "She's not getting any procedures, no physical therapy. Her life is back to where it was before her surgery."

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