Spinal Cord Stimulation
Spinal cord stimulation has been used for decades for patients with chronic spine pain. The most common problems for which patients have a stimulator placed include:
- Chronic nerve pain after spine surgery
- Neuropathic pain from prior nerve injuries, shingles and peripheral neuropathy
- Painful diabetic neuropathy
This treatment has greatly advanced through the development of new technology.
If you are a candidate for spinal cord stimulation, you likely will have a temporary, week-long trial of stimulation to see if it gives you the pain relief and improved function you seek. If the results are good, you and your physician may move forward with a more long-term device.
The long-term device is implanted during an outpatient surgical procedure. You will have twilight anesthesia. That means you will be awake, but relaxed.
In this procedure:
- Your physician places small electrodes in the spinal canal during surgery. The electrodes will target specific nerves in the spinal cord.
- Very small currents of electrical energy block the pain-transmitting nerve fibers from sending the “pain” message through the spinal cord. This does not affect strength, sensation or other functions of the nerve.
- Patients usually do not feel these currents of electricity.
We will teach you how to use the implanted device to maximize pain relief.