Spinal Cord Stimulation

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is most often employed to treat the most difficult chronic nerve related pain after injury or surgery.  Common conditions SCS therapy treats is post-laminectomy syndrome (residual pain after back surgery), postherpetic neuralgia, and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).  If you suffer from chronic neuropathic pain, SCS therapy may allow you to take control of your pain and help you enjoy your activities.

SCS therapy is performed in two stages.  A trial is first performed where leads are placed in the epidural space and secured in place under sterile conditions and with patients under sedation.  The leads are then programmed to give you a “pleasant” sensation in the areas where you normally feel pain.  During the trial period which usually last from 3 to 5 days, you will be able to determine if you get meaningful pain relief as you go about your normal routine.

Patients that receive a significant amount of relief and improved function are considered candidates for implantation of a permanent SCS device which is similar to a pacemaker.  This procedure is done as an outpatient, same-day minor surgical procedure and when complete you will have control over the device with a remote. Since the system is portable, SCS makes it possible to resume many normal daily life activities at home and at work, as well as recreational activities, such as swimming, traveling, biking, and gardening. SCS also enables many people to reduce or eliminate the use of pain medications.

By MconnellOwn work, CC BY 3.0, Link