Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial and Implant

Spinal Cord Stimulation

Medical advancement has improved the availability and range of minimally invasive procedures available. These treatments have become a preferred method of addressing conditions like chronic pain. Spinal cord stimulation is one such procedure that has been found to be effective in particularly difficult cases of chronic pain. When persistent pain in the arm, hand, back, feet, or legs has failed to respond to more traditional treatments, spinal cord stimulation may be a great alternative to invasive surgery. 

Spinal cord stimulation involves the use of low voltage electrical impulses being delivered to the spinal nerves. These impulses can effectively block pain signals traveling to the brain. This makes chronic pain easier to manage while boosting functionality and potentially limiting the amount of pain medication needed for meaningful relief.

These impulses are delivered by a small battery-powered generator that is implanted in the body. This generator sends impulses to specific points along the spinal cord. These impulses interrupt the transmission of pain signals to the brain and can make it possible for patients to live a more active lifestyle than is currently possible. The device is on all the time helping the patient.

Spinal cord stimulation is effective in treating a range of conditions, including:

  • Failed back surgery syndrome
  • Radiculopathy
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Arachnoiditis
  • Neuritis/Neuropathy
  • Painful Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Other chronic pain

Prior to receiving a spinal cord stimulator permanent implant, you will have a trial or “test drive” scheduled to determine if it will be effective for you. The trial is an excellent opportunity to see if the treatment works well for you. You will get to test it out for 7 days to see if pain and functioning is improved. The goal for the trial would be to have at least 50% reduction in your pain. Sedation is available for this procedure.

The target site will be cleaned and sterilized prior to the procedure being performed. Our physicians will use x-ray guidance to identify the proper area to place the trial leads. An epidural needle will then be guided into position and a lead inserted. Often, a second lead is placed to ensure adequate coverage to treat the pain.

At this stage, a number of tests will be performed to determine how you respond to electrostimulation. The process is generally painless and takes between 5-10 minutes to complete. Once these tests have been completed, the leads will be taped and stitched to your back to secure them for the trial period. A pulse generator will be taped to your back to complete the 7-day trial.

If it is determined that spinal cord stimulation is an effective treatment for your pain, you’ll be scheduled for implantation. This stage of the treatment involves the permanent implantation of a pulse generator and electrode wires. Dr. Cajigal will go over the full process with you prior to the procedure being performed.

Contact Our Office For More About Spinal Cord Stimulators

This procedure has been shown to provide lasting, meaningful relief from chronic pain for many patients. Call our offices to arrange an assessment and consultation with our physicians to determine if this treatment is right for you. Following the meeting, you’ll be provided with options for treating your chronic pain and work together to develop an appropriate treatment for you.

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