Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is most often employed to treat the most difficult chronic nerve related pain after injury or surgery
Spinal Cord Stimulation
Common conditions SCS therapy treats is a 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 in the office under sedation. Leads (tiny wires) 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 4 to 7 day trial period, you will determine if you get meaningful pain relief as you go about your normal routine. Some new systems allow for patients to get pain relief without any peripheral sensation.
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 surgical procedure.
You may be a candidate for SCS if :
- Conservative therapies have failed.
- You would not benefit from additional surgery.
- You do not want further surgery because of the risks or long recovery. Sometimes SCS may be chosen over a large, complex spine surgery.
- You do not have untreated depression or drug addiction; these should be treated prior to having a SCS.
- You have no medical conditions that would keep you from undergoing implantation.
- You have had a successful SCS trial.