A Spinal cord stimulator are used for spinal cord stimulation (SCS), which may also be referred to as neurostimulation or neuromodulation, is the process of sending mild electrical impulses to spinal nerve roots in an effort to block or mask pain signals that are delivered to the brain. Since its FDA approval in 1989 as a treatment option for patients with nerve damage in the trunk and/or extremities, SCS has improved the lives of countless patients who suffer from conditions such as the following:
- Chronic neck or back pain
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)
- Chronic Abdominal Pain
- Failed neck or back surgery
SCS is achieved through the implantation and use of a spinal cord stimulator and small wire. Before undergoing a procedure to receive a spinal cord stimulator, patients undergo an SCS trial.
The Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial
To determine if a spinal cord stimulator can benefit a patient, a small electrode is inserted into the epidural space near the spinal cord. Mild impulses are sent to the electrode and the patient gives feedback regarding improved pain sensations. When the electrode is placed in the perfect spot to maximally reduce pain, the lead wire is attached to an external stimulator device. The patient leaves the office and returns in one week with information regarding the effectiveness of the external stimulator. If the patient reports improved pain, they may undergo a procedure to implant a spinal cord stimulator.
The Spinal Cord Stimulator Procedure
A spinal cord stimulator is implanted under IV sedation or general anesthesia. Once the patient is comfortably sedated or asleep, the surgeon makes a small incision and inserts two electrode wires into the epidural space. A separate incision is then made over the lower back or buttocks and the spinal cord stimulator is placed in the area and attached to the electrodes. The incisions are then closed and the procedure is deemed completed. The patient is given a handheld device with a rechargeable battery that will allow them to program the amount of stimulation to relate to their experienced pain levels.
If you are in pain and it will not go away on its own, please do not hesitate to contact our New Jersey offices to make an appointment. Once your condition is evaluated and properly diagnosed, a treatment plan will be prescribed. Should you be a candidate for a spinal cord stimulator or other minimally invasive pain management procedure, we will provide you with all the information you need. You can expect results when you choose our practice.
Dr. Alexander Klyashtorny is a Board Certified Physician in Anesthesiology and Pain Management and is dedicated to helping patients control or eliminate their source of pain, which improves the patients’ quality of life immensely. Dr. Klyashtorny accomplishes this goal by combining the results of the diagnostic studies, patients’ complaints, as well as findings he discovers during physical examination in his decision-making process to design an effective treatment protocol that is individually modified for each patient.