Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)
For pain severe spine and/or extremity pain that is resistant to previous treatments (such as physical therapy, medications, surgery, and pain procedures), a spinal cord stimulator trial may be considered.
Pain information from the extremities or the spine travel along the posterior portion of the spinal cord. By placing specialized electrodes/medical leads into the epidural space, we can then send controlled, electrical stimulation to the spinal cord. The stimulation interferes with the transmission of pain information and can be very effective in treating pain that has failed other conservative treatments or have failed surgical intervention.
The Spinal Cord Stimulator is used in two stages
The trial is a minimally invasive procedure completed in the office procedure room. During the trial, temporary electrodes are place with x-ray guidance into the epidural space. The wires are then connected to an external, temporary battery/generator and tested to ensure proper coverage of the patient’s pain. Instructions are given and special programs are created to maximize use and pain relief. Patients use the device at home to have “real world” test of this technology and determine how much it reduces their pain and improves functionality. After 5-7 days patients return to the office to have the temporary wires removed. Removal of the trial is a quick and painless process.
SCS Permanent Implant
If patients have significant improvement in their pain and functionality during the SCS trial, they can elect to have a permanent device implanted. The permanent implant is often completed by a spine surgeon. Once the permanent version is implanted, the device is completely internal and self-contained. Patients can swim and bath normally.