Spinal Cord Stimulation
Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) procedures involve the implantation of a computerized battery-operated device that sends electrical signals to the spinal cord to intercept pain signals to the brain. Recent advances have made the stimulators last as long as eight years.
How It’s Performed
It is important to note that the patient decides to have the permanent procedure performed only after the patient has had a successful trial spinal cord stimulator. An Illinois Pain & Spine Institute pain management physician then implants a permanent device under the skin that sends mild electrical impulses to the spinal cord, while the patient is lightly sedated. This ultimately provides long-term pain relief.
Candidates For This Procedure
People suffering from neuropathic pain – burning, stabbing or tingling pain – particularly after previous back or leg surgery as well as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD).
How Long It Takes
The spinal cord stimulation procedure can take up to 2 to 3 hours.
Patients may experience procedure-related pain for a few days. Lifting, bending, stretching, and twisting should be avoided immediately following the procedure. However, light exercise is encouraged to build strength and help relieve pain.
Approximately, 50% of patients respond favorably to a three to five day trial. Of those responding favorably the pain is reduced from severe to a tingling sensation.