Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)

What is Spinal Cord Stimulation therapy and how does it work?

Spinal cord stimulation therapy uses a small device that masks pain signals traveling up the spinal cord before they can reach the brain. Spinal cord stimulation can improve quality of life significantly and reduce dependence on pain medicines, especially opioids. It is typically used along with physical therapy, and in some cases prescription medication.

The spinal stimulator lead is a thin wire that is placed through a needle in the Epidural Space. The device is placed under the skin near the Spinal Cord, and it delivers a mild electric current to block the nerve pain. A weeklong trial simulation is performed to test the device and see how much pain relief is achieved before committing to the device permanently. The Stimulator is a small device that is taped to the back for the trial period. If the trial is successful, the patient can choose to get a permanent spinal cord stimulator implant. This device is close to the size of a pacemaker, and its effectiveness varies from person to person.

What conditions can it treat?

It can be used to treat back pain, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Phantom Limb pain (post-amputation pain), and peripheral neuropathy. It can also help patients with a history of multiple surgeries, suffering from Failed Back Surgery syndrome.