Relieve pain with Spinal Cord Stimulation.
Spinal cord stimulation sends electrical impulses to your spinal cord in the form of leads, or insulated wires. This interrupts the pain signals being sent to your brain and leaves you with a slight tingling sensation instead.
- Once the leads have been placed, you can use a handheld device to adjust the level of pain relief.
- The rechargeable battery used for the procedure lasts for several years.
Trial lead vs. permanent implant
The trial lead stage of spinal cord stimulation comes first. This involves temporarily placing the leads to test their effectiveness and to see if you are comfortable with them. You will test with the trial lead at home for about a week. During this procedure, the insulated wires go into your epidural space, while the main stimulator device is implanted under your skin. If the trial is unsuccessful, the leads are easily removed with little discomfort.
If the trial is successful, you will receive the permanent lead. This procedure is similar to the first, but involves a couple extra small incisions to place the stimulator permanently. A local anesthetic will be used to numb the area during the surgery for both the trial and permanent lead.
What conditions does it treat?
Spinal cord stimulation is used for severe, chronic pain. It might be helpful if you deal with pain from neuropathy or failed back surgery. It is also used for relieving pain from complex regional pain syndrome, a chronic nerve disorder, and degenerative disc disease.
What can I expect afterward?
You might have pain for a few days where your incisions were, but this goes away in a few days. Your doctor will talk to you about when you can resume regular activities. Although the level of success for this procedure varies, most patients see a significant decrease in their pain. The goal of the procedure is to get you to be able to complete everyday activities with less pain.