Spinal cord stimulation is an advanced treatment method using electrical impulses to reduce chronic pain in your back, arms, and legs. If you have severe pain that doesn’t get better using other methods, Kenneth Wu, MD, Thomas White, MD, and Yoann Millet, MD, of The Sprintz Center offer trial spinal cord stimulator implantation. A trial ensures you're going to benefit from the treatment before you undergo the entire implantation procedure. Call The Sprintz Center's office in Shenandoah, Texas, or book an appointment online today to discover how spinal cord stimulation can relieve your pain.
Spinal cord stimulation (SCS), also known as dorsal column stimulation, involves having a device implanted under your skin that sends mild electric currents to your spinal cord. The current blocks pain signals, providing relief from treatment-resistant back, arm, and leg pain.
The spinal cord stimulator consists of a battery-powered pulse generator that connects to your spine through small wires. You can control it using a remote device, increasing the impulses when your pain is intense.
Most spinal cord stimulators replace the pain signals with a tingling sensation (paresthesia). Some newer devices offer sub-perception technology, so you don't feel anything.
Spinal cord stimulation is a viable option for patients who still experience disabling pain despite trying treatments such as:
For most patients with chronic pain, these approaches are usually quite effective. However, some people continue to experience intolerable pain levels, especially with neuropathic (nerve-related) conditions. Spinal cord stimulation could help you if nothing else has worked.
Before fitting a permanent spinal cord stimulator, the team at The Sprintz Center performs trial implantation. After giving you an anesthetic injection, your provider inserts one or more insulated wires into your back using an epidural needle or via a small incision into the epidural space around your spine.
Your provider asks you for feedback to help them determine the stimulator's best position, then connects the cables to an external trial stimulator. You use this for about a week to see if spinal cord stimulation works for you.
If you and your provider agree that the treatment is sufficient, the team can perform permanent implantation.
Permanent spinal cord stimulator implantation takes place under sedation or general anesthetic.
Your provider inserts the long-lasting leads to replace the temporary ones. Then they make an incision in your skin, usually on your buttocks or abdomen, for the implantable pulse generator (IPG) and connect the leads.
Your provider programs the electrical pulses with a wireless device. You can then use the programmer to adjust the power level, switch from one setting to another, and turn the spinal cord stimulator on or off.
If your chronic pain doesn’t improve with other treatments, talk to the team at The Sprintz Center about spinal cord stimulation. Call their office or book an appointment online today.