Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)
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 as an invasive procedure if the patient has tried other less invasive treatments for their pain which have not helped.
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 scheduling the procedure. 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 long-lasting 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?
- Post-laminectomy syndrome (failed back surgery syndrome)
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) I & II
- Phantom limb syndrome
- End-stage peripheral vascular disease
- Post-herpetic neuralgia
- Incomplete spinal cord injury
- Lumbosacral arachnoiditis