The Eon neurostimulator, which company claims as the first rechargeable spinal cord stimulator to be approved for use in China, was recently approved by the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) for the management of chronic low back pain and pain from back surgeries that have failed.

“Chronic pain is a serious health issue in China,” said Professor Zhang De Ren, M.D., an interventional pain physician at the Shenzhen Nanshan Hospital of Shenzhen, Guangdong province who performed the procedure. “We are excited to be able to provide an advanced therapy such as neurostimulation in order to improve patient outcomes.”

The Eon neurostimulator is designed to provide spinal cord stimulation therapy. Similar to a cardiac pacemaker, this pacemaker for pain delivers mild electrical pulses to a lead or leads that are placed in the epidural space near the spine to interrupt or mask the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Once activated, the system’s programs are adjusted and fine-tuned to best manage the patient’s pain.

“Implanting the first patient in China with a rechargeable neurostimulator represents an important step toward broadening the availability of this therapy,” said Chris Chavez, president of the St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation Division. “We are proud to provide physicians access to technology that can deliver sustainable relief for chronic pain sufferers who may have exhausted other therapy options.”

Neurostimulation patients can adjust the therapy by using a handheld device (similar to a remote control) that allows them to select from pre-set programs that are individually customized. Patients with a rechargeable Eon neurostimulator periodically recharge their devices, potentially resulting in fewer battery replacement surgeries.