Skip to Content

NorthShore’s online source for timely health and wellness news, inspiring patient stories and tips to lead a healthy life.

Healthy You

Patient finds relief from debilitating knee pain with innovative neurostimulation implant

Wednesday, September 06, 2023 12:41 PM
Tags: knee pain

Christine Johnson’s life was completely disrupted by chronic pain.

“I wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t eating. I’ve been in that much pain,” she said. “My pain before was 10, until I got my implant.”

Johnson saw Nirav N. Shah, MD, an anesthesiologist and interventional pain specialist with NorthShore University HealthSystem, who gave her a Nalu neurostimulation implant, a small device placed under the skin that can help reduce pain.

“The device uses electricity to block pain signals or disrupt painful signaling in the body,” Dr. Shah said.

A physician places the device in the peripheral nervous system, in the arms or legs. It produces mild electrical impulses that can block the pain signals nerves are sending to the brain.

It’s powered and controlled by a wearable therapy disc that the patient can move to direct the impulses. Patients can also remove the disc if they feel like they don’t need the activity at that time.

The implant improves quality of life and decreases the need for medication, which can sometimes cause unwanted side effects.

“I can control my pain, my pain is not controlling me,” Johnson said. Her pain is so well managed, she was able to travel to Paris, where she explored its sights and boulevards pain-free.

Don’t live with pain. Make your appointment today.

Learn more about the NorthShore Integrated Pain Center.