New electronic device eases chronic pain, prevents opioid abuse

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SARASOTA – Thanks to a small device, Karen McAvoy can bend her knee again.

She had two knee surgeries, resulting in a lot of scar tissue and a lot of pain.

She says cortisone shots just weren’t working.

“I got tired of taking the pain pills because they were like eating candy; they weren’t doing anything,” McAvoy said.

Eugene Pereira, M.D., is the medical director of acute and chronic pain at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

He says the opioid crisis is more relevant than ever.

“People are dying in the country from opioid misuse or overdose,” Pereira said.

He says Algovita, a device made by Nuvectra, uses electricity to block pain from traveling to the brain.

“..by turning on a similar stimulation from the same location,” Pereira said.

McAvoy has had the device for about eight weeks since her outpatient procedure.

“I went home the same day, probably about two hours later,” she said.

Now she says her knee pain is nonexistent.

She can do things we take for granted, like housework and walking her dog.

All she has to do is charge the device every three days.

“I had nothing to lose, really, and everything to gain,” McAvoy said.

Pereira says not everyone is a candidate for the device, but the beauty of it is you can test out the technology before deciding to get it permanently implanted.

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