CTX veteran first to receive new medical treatment - KXXV Central Texas News Now

CTX veteran first to receive new medical treatment

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)

An Army veteran from Moody was living with focal chronic pain for years. 

Melissa Cheek ran up to 40 miles a day prior to her injury and was bound to a wheelchair. Simple tasks like putting on socks became too painful.

In 2011, Cheek was working at a warehouse job and her foot got caught in a pallet. She thought it was a simple injury, but it turned into something much worse.

Cheek developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), a debilitating chronic pain condition that affects a part of the body after an injury or trauma. 

After years of injections, nerve blocks, medication, and physical therapy, she began to lose hope.

Dr. Pankaj Mehta restored that hope.

Cheek was referred to Dr. Mehta, who suggested a new type of Neurostimulation Therapy called Dorsal Root Ganglion Therapy (DRG) that was approved by the FDA in Feb. 2016 for the treatment of CRPS.

Cheek was one of the first people in our area to receive the new treatment option to help her manage her pain symptoms.

Melissa Cheek was medically discharged from the Army after two years of service.

“So when I injured my ankle it was kind of just like one more thing I had to deal with," Cheek said.

Following her discharge, she was working at a warehouse when she injured her ankle and her life changed for the worse.

“My foot started getting really sensitive and if you were to take a feather and just lightly rub it across my foot it felt like someone was stabbing me. It was that bad," Cheek said.

“Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is one that can happen by an injury or nerve injury to an extremity,” Dr. Mehta said. “The Abbot Axiom Nero Stimulator device targets a spinal structure called DRG or the Dorsal Root Ganglion

This DRG structure located close to the spine controls and processes the pain signals going from the extremity to the brain.

Cheek was the first person in Central Texas to get the recently FDA approved procedure and says is changed her life immediately after surgery. 

“I am so happy with the results I am able to provide to these patients who get their life back,” Dr. Mehta said.  

"I really hope this reaches people because if it's helped me like it has, I mean I couldn't even walk before and now I'm walking," Cheek added. 

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