More MS news articles for Jan 2002

Medtronic Says FDA Clears Smaller Neurostimulator

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters Health) Jan 03 - Medtronic Inc. said on Thursday that US regulators approved its Synergy Versitrel neurostimulator, a third and smaller addition to the Medtronic line of totally implantable treatments for chronic pain.

Medtronic's Synergy systems are members of its line of products for pain therapy using implantable drug pumps and other neurostimulators. These medical devices deliver medication or mild electrical pulses to the area near the spinal cord or to peripheral nerves to block pain signals moving to the brain.

The medical device firm said its newest neurostimulator is about 20% smaller than the existing Synergy neurostimulator and is designed for patients who are not considered candidates for the larger device.

Chronic pain afflicts about 25% of the US population and 50% of patients with cancer. Caused by a variety of injuries and diseases, the condition costs the country an estimated $100 billion a year in medical costs and most commonly affects the lower back and legs.

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