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Pioneering implant means Burley-in-Wharfedale man can now stand pain
A pain-stricken dad who had to stand up for two years is finally sitting comfortably – at the touch of a 'magic' button.
Sitting down was absolute agony for Peter Cartwright, of Burley-in-Wharfedale, until doctors at a private hospital fitted him with a remote control pain-relief button which runs on a battery-pack charged through his skin.
Life became one big pain for the IT consultant after he had an anal abscess drained – he was left in such torment after the surgery the only way of getting any relief was to keep on his feet.
It meant he had to perch on his best buttock with his foot hovering over the accelerator taking the weight when he travelled the 76 miles each way to work in Cheshire every day and then had to stand at a specially raised desk for his 12-hour shifts at the office.
Even when he flew out to Australia to visit his brother the only time he was able to take a seat was for take-off and landing.
In desperation the 50-year-old, who lives in Hall Drive, had tried all sorts of potential pain-relief from a soreness-busting spine block to spinal cord injections but nothing lasted long enough.
But all that changed when doctors at the Spire Leeds Hospital fitted a spinal cord stimulator at the top of his buttock, just by pressing a button he can now control his own pain.
Signals that would normally tell his brain he was experiencing discomfort are now blocked and instead he feels pleasant tingling sensations.
It was pain management consultant Dr Ganesan Baranidharan, who implanted the device and within hours of having the procedure carried out Mr Cartwright was able to sit down for a meal, something most people take for granted but something he had not done for a long time.
“Before I had the implant, the pain was constant when I was sat down so standing was my preferred option,” he said. “I tried to carry on with life with the help of strong painkillers but the pain affected everything I did.
“It was mentally and physically exhausting. Everywhere I’d go people would say sit down and I’d have to say ‘thanks but I’d rather not’. I used to stand up to eat breakfast off the ironing board and if we went out to restaurants I’d sit on half a chair, eat one course then go for a wander about and the family would ring me when the next course was served up.”
Although the pain has eased considerably, it is still not perfect but he says he hopes it will improve even more when a new software comes available on the NHS to make the device self-operating.
He said: “The pain is much better than it was. It’s not perfect but it’s about 50 per cent better. There's a chance the implant will be more efficient when I'm not messing around with the button anymore.”
Mr Cartwright hopes to be back at work soon – but he might have to wait a little while longer as all that standing has damaged his achilles tendon and doctors say he might need an operation.