Peripheral Nerve Stimulation (PNS) method is older than any other neuromodulation technique. Pioneers of PNS experimented on themselves stimulating their infraorbital nerves, and achieving pleasant numbness in the face. Here is how they described the first treatment: "On October 9, 1965, Dr. Wall and one of us (Dr. W.H. Sweet) implanted a pair of silastic ring platinum electrodes around the ulnar and another pair around the median nerve in the arm carrying the wires out of the skin at the mid-forearm. On the median nerve 0.1- ms pulses at 100/s and 0.6 V provoked a pleasant tingling in the lateral three fingers and corresponding hand and stopped the pain in the medial three fingers and hand as well as tenderness in the third finger and palm."
White JC, Sweet WH: Pain and the Neurosurgeon: A Forty-Year Experience. Springfield, Thomas, 1969, pp 894–899.
I started using PNS to treat intractable pain 15 years ago. Since I moved back to Canada in 2013, I have done only R&D work to develop new devices. Three of them are already FDA approved, and Health Canada approval is pending.
I'm excited to have this modality here to make patients' lives better.
One of my patients from Seattle sent me this note a couple of weeks ago: Hello Dr. Gofeld. I'm the patient that you implanted the IPG into the calf of my leg to alleviate nerve pain in my left ankle. The nerve damage occurred during an ankle replacement. You SAVED my life!! Remembering how desperate I was for some solution, remembering being sent to you after a couple different appointments at the U of W, remembering the day that you told me, "I think I can help you". You don't know the impact your care of me had on my life and those around me! At this time, yes, I still use my IPG on a regular basis. My ankle tells me when to turn it on/off..........I find that so interesting. I just really want you to know that you're thought of and I am an eternally grateful former patient of yours. Sincerely, Sue Q"