What is spinal cord stimulation?
Spinal cord stimulation is an extremely safe medical procedure that is used to treat chronic pain. It uses a small pulse generator, which will, once implanted in the back, conduct safe pulses to pertinent areas of the spinal cord. These pulses will then interfere with the nerve signals that make you feel pain.
How is the procedure performed?
The procedure is usually performed under a local anesthetic and a sedative at a surgery center or hospital. Your physician will implant a trial stimulator through the skin. After a trial run of 5-7 days, your physician may consider implanting a more permanent stimulator. After the procedure, the best pulse strength can be determined by you and your physician.
What should I expect after the procedure?
The procedure will leave small incision(s), to which you should pay a careful attention until it heals.
Who should get the procedure?
The procedure works for people with severe chronic pain. It has been used for people who have failed back surgery syndrome, severe nerve-related pain or numbness, and chronic pain syndromes that have not responded to other therapies.
Possible side effects and risks
Some of the possible side effects and risks include infection, headache, leakage of spinal fluid and bladder problems. You may also develop scar tissues around the electrode. Moreover, the stimulation may become less effective as you get used to the stimulation. You should NOT have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests once you receive the treatment.