Spinal Cord Stimulation
Treatment of chronic pain using Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) is on the forefront of interventional pain management techniques. Spinal cord stimulation uses low voltage stimulation of the spinal nerves to block the feeling of pain. It helps to better manage pain and potentially decrease the amount of pain medication. It may be an option if you have long-term (chronic) leg or arm pain, and have not found relief through traditional methods. A spinal cord stimulator device is surgically placed under the skin to send a mild electrical current to your spinal cord. The result is a tingling sensation in the area where pain was felt. By interrupting pain signals, the procedure has shown success in returning some people to a more active lifestyle.
Patients selected for this procedure usually have had a disability for more than 12 months and have pain in their lower back and leg (sciatica). They’ve typically had one or more failed spinal surgeries.
You may be a candidate for SCS if you meet the following criteria:
1. Conservative therapies have failed
2. Your source of pain has been verified
3. You would not benefit from additional surgery
4. You do not have depression or other psychiatric conditions that contribute to your pain
5. You have no medical conditions that would keep you from undergoing implantation
6. You have had a successful trial stimulation
An SCS can help lessen chronic pain caused by:
1. Chronic leg (sciatica) or arm pain: ongoing, persistent pain caused by degenerative conditions like arthritis or spinal stenosis, or from nerve damage.
2. Failed back surgery syndrome: failure of one or more surgeries to control persistent leg pain (sciatica), but not technical failure of the original procedure.
3. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS): a progressive disease of the nervous system in which patients feel constant chronic burning pain, typically in the foot or the hand. Formerly called reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD).
4. Arachnoiditis: painful inflammation and scarring of the meninges (protective layers) of the spinal nerves.
5. Other: stump pain, angin, peripheral vascular disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury.
If your pain is caused by a correctable condition, then this must be fixed first. Also, if you have a cardiac pacemaker, you cannot have a stimulator.