Rob's Targeted Drug Delivery Story

Hear from others who have struggled along a pain journey and see how they found relief.

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."



David's Targeted Drug Delivery Story

Hear from others who have struggled along a pain journey and see how they found relief.

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.

David's Targeted Drug Delivery Story

For his entire life, David was active and liked to work hard. An avid distance runner, he regularly logged 30 to 50 miles per week. Professionally, he was the principal of a special education school for children with disabilities.

Then, one morning his life changed. "I woke up on January 13, 1983, with excruciating back pain," David recalls. "I crawled to the car and was taken to the emergency room. I was hospitalized and diagnosed with a disc herniation at three levels. I had a laminectomy and a posterior fusion."

Despite the surgery, David's pain in his lower back and left leg was relentless. Any movement—including bending backward or forward—sent a shock of electricity down his back to his toes and took his breath away. He continued to work but gave up all exercise. As a result, David became depressed.

"It was very hard on my family," David says. "But I never felt hopeless because I knew my doctor was determined to help me."

David tried every treatment option available to him, including medications that did not relieve the pain and made him feel sleepy. In 1988, he tried an early version of neurostimulation therapy. But the pain was too widespread for the device that was available at that time.

"My wife and I desperately wanted to adopt children," he explains. "And I knew that to be considered as an adoptive parent I had to be well. That was my motivation."

Discovering drug delivery therapy
David's physician attended a conference where he learned about Medtronic's drug delivery therapy. He thought David would be a good candidate and referred him to the appropriate specialist.

David underwent a screening test at a hospital where a test dose of medication was administered to an area surrounding his spinal cord. If it relieved his pain by stopping it at its source, he could proceed with getting the therapy.

"During the trial I felt great relief," says David. "A total calming down of the severe pain. I still had some discomfort, but not the blinding electrical shock I was used to. I couldn't wait for the surgery!"

Living a full life with drug delivery therapy
David began receiving drug delivery therapy in the early '90s. While he 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 took his doctor almost a year to adjust his dosage to the optimal setting to control his pain. "During that time I often felt nauseous, but it was still preferable to the pain," David says.

Today, he continues to experience pain relief with drug delivery therapy and is back to exercising. "My average pain score is a 3 out of 10. I go to the gym daily and work out for an hour and a half," David says.

Best of all, David and his wife were able to realize their dream of adopting two children from Korea. "Because of the pump, I was able to interact with my children and to complete my career to retirement. It has given me a life," David says.