After reading this please keep in mind that all treatment and outcome results are specific to the individual patient. Results may vary. Complications, such as infection, blood loss, or nerve damage are some of the potential adverse risks of spinal surgery. Please consult your physician for a complete list of indications, warnings, precautions, adverse events, clinical results, and other important medical information.

The materials on this website are for general educational purposes only. Information you read on this website cannot replace the relationship that you have with your healthcare professional. We do not practice medicine or provide medical services or advice as a part of this website. You should always talk to your healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment.

Marie's Balloon Kyphoplasty Story

"I went in and [the neurosurgeon] said 'boy, are you a candidate for the kypho procedure.' And within two days I had it done."

The complication for KYPHON® Balloon Kyphoplasty has been demonstrated to be low. There are risks associated with the procedure, including serious complications, and though rare, some of which may be fatal. These include, but are not limited to heart attack, cardiac arrest (heart stops beating), stroke, and embolism (blood, fat or cement that migrates to the lungs, heart, or brain). Other complications include infection and leakage of bone cement into the muscle and tissue. Cement leakage into the blood vessels may result in damage to the blood vessels, lungs, heart, and/or brain. Cement leakage into the area surrounding the spinal cord may result in nerve injury that can, in rare instances, cause paralysis. A prescription is required. Please consult your physician for a complete list of indications, contraindications, benefits, and risks. Only you and your physician can determine whether this procedure is right for you.

Marie's Balloon Kyphoplasty Story

"I went in and [the neurosurgeon] said 'boy, are you a candidate for the kypho procedure.' And within two days I had it done."


Harmony's Spinal Cord Stimulation Story

“I can do chores around the house and I can go camping and I can drive. I have a great time now.”

This story recounts the experience of a patient who is receiving Medtronic neurostimulation therapy (also known as spinal cord stimulation) for the treatment of chronic pain. Medtronic invited him/her to share his/her story candidly. Please bear in mind that the experiences are specific to this particular person.

Harmony's Spinal Cord Stimulation Story

While four wheeling through a mountainous, wooded area of Arizona in 2005, Harmony took a sharp turn around a corner, then jumped from the four wheeler to avoid a cliff. She broke her back and foot and sustained head injuries. Her broken back went undiagnosed for two months, and by the time she received the diagnosis, it was too late to have surgery.

"The pain started immediately in my back and never stopped," Harmony remembers. "I felt it in the middle of my lower back, mainly on the right side. It was a stabbing, shooting, electric shock-like pain."

Dreams ended
At the time of the accident, Harmony was pursuing a dream of becoming a professional dirt bike racer. That dream ended with the accident. She couldn't walk or stand for more than a few minutes at a time, was unable to lift, and constantly felt fatigued. She stopped doing the things she loved with her son like hiking or sliding down the slippery river rocks near their home.

"I lost hope and quit doing the things I loved," she says. "I isolated myself from people because I couldn't do what they liked to do. I was frustrated and afraid for the future."

To control the pain, Harmony looked to pain medications and muscle relaxers, but they affected her negatively. She tried back braces, epidural shots, different forms of therapy, nerve blocks and more. Nothing helped.

Discovering neurostimulation therapy
Harmony learned about neurostimulation therapy while researching chronic pain treatments on the Internet. She had a screening test to find out if she was a candidate for long-term therapy. During the screening test she had relief in her painful areas.

Harmony began receiving AdaptiveStim® in August 2010 as part of an FDA-approved clinical study. Harmony experienced one complication when a lead in her back migrated. Her physician reprogrammed her device so that she could receive pain relief.

AdaptiveStim, available only from Medtronic with the RestoreSensor® neurostimulator, automatically adjusts stimulation with a change in position. When Harmony moves from sitting or standing to lying down or to upright and active (e.g. hiking), the device remembers the preferred stimulation for that position and applies it. As a result, she doesn't have to adjust amplitude as frequently, and changing positions is more comfortable, when compared to conventional stimulation.

Risks of neurostimulation therapy
Risks include surgical complications such as infection, pain at the site of surgery, or bleeding into the epidural space. Once the neurostimulation system is implanted, device complications may occur and include jolting, leads breaking, or movement of the leads within the epidural space, which may require reprogramming or surgical replacement of the leads. These events may result in uncomfortable stimulation or loss of therapy.

“There’s hope back in my life”
"I'm able to live my life," she says enthusiastically. "I go camping, I vacuum and I have better posture." She can even keep up with her family. "We went to the Minnesota State Fair for 14 hours one day this summer, and my son and boyfriend wanted to sit down, but I didn't."

Harmony appreciates AdaptiveStim's automatic response to position change. "It is really convenient because the AdaptiveStim technology responds to the different positions that you're in throughout the day. I can turn it on and do what I need to do and not worry about having to carry my remote to change it if I am walking versus just standing.

"I don't use my neurostimulator with the AdaptiveStim turned off. I always have it turned on. It gives me what I want when I want it."

Harmony has a goal of one day riding a four-wheeler. "There's hope back in my life."



After reading this please keep in mind that all treatment and outcome results are specific to the individual patient. Results may vary. Complications, such as infection, blood loss, or nerve damage are some of the potential adverse risks of spinal surgery. Please consult your physician for a complete list of indications, warnings, precautions, adverse events, clinical results, and other important medical information.

The materials on this website are for general educational purposes only. Information you read on this website cannot replace the relationship that you have with your healthcare professional. We do not practice medicine or provide medical services or advice as a part of this website. You should always talk to your healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment.

Sam's Balloon Kyphoplasty Story

"The next morning I woke up, and it's probably the best I'd felt in seven or eight months. Maybe even a year."

The complication for KYPHON® Balloon Kyphoplasty has been demonstrated to be low. There are risks associated with the procedure, including serious complications, and though rare, some of which may be fatal. These include, but are not limited to heart attack, cardiac arrest (heart stops beating), stroke, and embolism (blood, fat or cement that migrates to the lungs, heart, or brain). Other complications include infection and leakage of bone cement into the muscle and tissue. Cement leakage into the blood vessels may result in damage to the blood vessels, lungs, heart, and/or brain. Cement leakage into the area surrounding the spinal cord may result in nerve injury that can, in rare instances, cause paralysis. A prescription is required. Please consult your physician for a complete list of indications, contraindications, benefits, and risks. Only you and your physician can determine whether this procedure is right for you.

Sam's Balloon Kyphoplasty Story

"The next morning I woke up, and it's probably the best I'd felt in seven or eight months. Maybe even a year."


Rob's Targeted Drug Delivery Story

“My work life has changed dramatically. It’s a great relief to be back and productive again.”

This story recounts the experience of a patient who is receiving Medtronic targeted drug delivery for the treatment of chronic pain. Medtronic invited him/her to share his/her story candidly. Please bear in mind that the experiences are specific to this particular person.

Rob's Targeted Drug Delivery Story

As a young married man in his mid-twenties, Rob was working as a pipefitter. He was helping to bring a heavy hot-water boiler into an older home when the steps gave way. In Rob's words, he "held on a little bit too long" and ruptured three discs in his back.

Rob developed chronic pain after his accident in 1981. It was devastating. His social life deteriorated and he found it difficult to work.

Over a 20-year period, Rob and his doctors tried injections, physical therapy, and a TENS unit. He also had multiple back surgeries and took prescription oral medications.

Discovering drug delivery therapy
Until Rob started receiving drug delivery therapy, the side effects from his oral pain medications negatively affected him and those around him. "The best way to describe it is they [oral pain medications] ‘muddy up the water’ as far as thinking and being myself. It changes your personality. I knew there was a difference. My employer saw a difference. My family saw a difference and that was...hard."

While Rob did not have any complications, there are risks associated with the procedure. The most frequently reported problems following drug infusion system implant surgery include infection, spinal fluid leak, pump inversion, skin erosion, drug side effects, loss of therapy effect, and therapy that did not meet the patient's expectations. For a complete list of adverse events that have been associated with the therapy, please refer to the Important Safety Information.

“It’s a great relief to be back and productive again”
Now, thanks to drug delivery therapy from Medtronic, Rob has rejoined his life in many ways.

"My family life has just gotten so much better. We've been able to do things we never thought we'd be able to do again," Rob says. "My work life has also changed dramatically. It's a great relief to be back and productive again."