News items Radboudumc implements new therapy for patients with chronic pain

2 April 2024

In the Netherlands, 1 in 5 people suffers from chronic pain, often significantly impacting their quality of life. For this group of patients, tailored treatments are sought. Recently, Radboudumc introduced a new development of an existing therapy.

The Expert Center for Chronic Pain at Radboudumc annually sees approximately 1500 new patients living with chronic pain. Physicians are constantly seeking new developments to provide the best possible treatment for their patients.

New development

An innovative approach to personalized pain management is the use of so-called closed-loop neurostimulation. In this method, small electrical pulses are sent via an implanted neurostimulator to the spinal cord. These pulses disrupt the pain signals from the spinal cord to the brain, reducing the patient's pain. The closed-loop system can automatically adjust the intensity of the pulses from moment to moment, providing stable stimulation regardless of the patient's activity.

Recently, neurosurgeon Erkan Kurt performed the first implantation of this new stimulator at Radboudumc in the Netherlands. The use of such a neurostimulator in combination with a surgical paddle lead,  has not been done before in the Netherlands.

"The closed-loop technology is a major advancement in spinal cord stimulation: from a scientific perspective for the treating pain physician, but especially for our chronic pain patients. We hope to help many patients with this procedure," Erkan Kurt, Radboudumc.

Patient: "The pain in my legs and back is already so much less, this feels very good! Very different feeling when I compare the effect when I had neurostimulation a few years ago. Moreover, I hardly feel the device (stimulator)!"


Closed-loop neurostimulation for pain has recently been implemented. In collaboration with Medtronic, this new technique is now applied with a surgical lead. Additionally, the development of the neurostimulator also considered user-friendliness and comfort for the patient. With a thickness of only 6 mm, this is the thinnest device on the market. Moreover, patients implanted with this system can still undergo a full-body MRI scan (both at 1.5 and 3 Tesla).

More information

Margie Alders



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