Spinal Cord Stimulator therapy is an exciting procedure that is becoming increasingly popular for the treatment of many causes of chronic back pain. This revolutionary treatment works by blocking pain perception from traveling up through the spinal cord to the brain. It involves a small device that is placed near the spinal cord in the epidural space. The spinal stimulator device delivers low-level electrical impulses that interfere with the perception of pain, especially chronic nerve pain.
The syndromes most commonly treated with SCS include:
- Nerve Root Compression
- Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
- Spinal Stenosis
- Degenerative Disk Disease
- Sciatica or Lumbar Radiculitis
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Peripheral Neuropathy
- Central Sensitization
Spinal Cord Stimulator uses groundbreaking technology that works by introducing an electrical current into the epidural space near the source of chronic pain impulses. Under a local anesthetic and minimal sedation your doctor will first place the trial SCS leads into the epidural space. The spinal stimulator lead is a soft, thin wire with electrical leads on its tip and is placed through a needle in the back into the epidural space. The trial stimulator is typically worn for 5-7days as the lead is taped to your back and connected to a stimulating device. If the trial successfully relieves your pain you can undergo a permanent SCS if desired.
The implanted device near the area of pain produces a low voltage current, which creates a sensation that blocks the brain’s ability to sense the previously perceived pain. It interferes with the perception of pain received by the brain by creating a pleasant sensation that replaces the pain. The intensity of the stimulator can be changed, and the system can be turned on and off as necessary to provide optimal pain relief as experienced by the patient.
Spinal cord stimulator improves lumbar back pain in patients with many different conditions, and has proven to be extremely effective in patients with Failed Back Surgery Syndrome. It is shown to reduce the level of pain as well as the amount of pain medication taken by patients.