Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant
Spinal Cord Stimulator – Implanted by top Rochester Hills Pain Management doctor
A spinal cord stimulator (also called SCS) uses electrical impulses to relieve chronic pain of the back, arms and legs. It is believed that electrical pulses prevent pain signals from being received by the brain. Spinal cord stimulator implant candidates include people who suffer from neuropathic pain and for whom conservative treatments have failed.
the majority of qualified patients report somewhere between 50% and 70% overall pain reduction, as well as greater ability to participate in their normal everyday activities.
Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) was approved by the FDA back in 1989. It has become a standard method of treatment for chronic pain patients who experience pain in their limbs and back and for those have not found any benefit from other types of conservative treatments. While this type of treatment does not work in every single patient, the majority of qualified patients report somewhere between 50% and 70% overall pain reduction, as well as greater ability to participate in their normal everyday activities.
Many patients discover that they are able to reduce and stop using pain medications after receiving spinal cord stimulation. Many chronic pain sufferers also find that neurostimulation has a positive impact on their lives. As a result of these reported benefits of SCS, there has been a great deal of ongoing advances and investments in spinal cord stimulation related technology.
Method of Installation of a Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant
Thin soft wires, equipped with electrical leads, are inserted by way of a needle into an area of the back close to the spinal column. Doctors initially insert a stimulator percutaneously (through the skin) as a trial run of the treatment. Since a percutaneous stimulator often moves from its original placement, a short trial period lasts for one week. Implanted on an outpatient basis, the procedure includes the following steps:
- The area of skin to be used for the implant is numbed with local anesthetic.
- Electrical leads are inserted underneath the skin, and then, they are connected to a small generator, which is similar in size to a cellular phone.
- Utilizing pre-determined program settings, electrical currents target pain areas with the goal of providing as much pain relief as possible.
Typically, trial stimulator installation takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes to complete, and the patient can go home soon after the procedure. If the trial proves to be successful in giving the patient adequate pain relief, a more permanent stimulator will be inserted. A permanent stimulator is implanted underneath the abdominal skin. The leads are feed up to the point where they are inserted into the spinal canal. This abdominal location is considered to be more stable as well as more effective.
Research Studies Confirm Positive Effects of Spinal Cord Stimulator Implants
Many clinical trials exist which confirm the effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation implants in the reduction of pain experienced by chronic sufferers and their ability to resume their normal activity levels. In 2004, a systematic literature review was performed on clinical trials that were conducted over a 20 year period. It was concluded that more than 68 studies (involving almost 3,700 patients) fulfilled acceptable methodology of the review.
The reviewed studies reported on the overall efficacy and safety of spinal cord stimulation implants. One study author concluded that spinal cord stimulation provided symptomatic relief, as well as positive, long-term effects in the following types of chronic pain:
- Refractory angina – This type of angina does not respond adequately to medications and is considered to be debilitating.
- Severe ischemic pain of the limbs – This pain is associated with peripheral vascular disease.
- Peripheral neuropathy – Which is a painful leg condition.
- Chronic pain of the low back – Which affects millions of people world-wide.
Generally, the researchers of these clinical trials found that spinal cord stimulation implants were safe and effective as a method of treatment for many types of chronic pain conditions. SCS works best from conditions that result from damage, irritation, and/or destruction of nerves.
University Pain Clinic of Rochester offers a number of innovative treatment and procedure options to reduce your pain associated with peripheral neuralgia. Use the form of phone number on this page to contact us and schedule an appointment.