Spinal Cord Stimulator

About

Spinal cord stimulator is a device used for the management of chronic back pain. The stimulator sends electrical impulses to the areas of the spinal cord causing the pain and interferes with the transmission of pain signals to the brain. It blocks the brain’s ability to sense pain in the stimulated areas, thus relieving pain without the side effects that medications can cause. The electrical impulses can be targeted to specific locations and, as pain changes or improve; stimulation can be adjusted as necessary.

 

Procedure

The initial implantation of the trial is generally done with the patient awake so that it can be determined in the operating room if the stimulator is covering the appropriate spot of the spinal cord to give the patient pain relief. Either a paddle lead is placed over the spinal cord through a small open incision and removal of the lamina, or a percutaneous insertion of a point is performed through the skin. The permanent implant will occur several days later if the patient achieves good pain relief with the trial stimulator.

 

Postoperative Care

Patients are generally discharged home the day of or the following day of the procedure. They should keep the wounds very clean and dry.

 

Risks

Risks for the procedure are low. Potential risks include bleeding, infection and injury to nerves injured spinal cord and paralysis. 

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