Utah Spinal Cord Stimulator Therapy
Spinal cord stimulator therapy is becoming more and more popular as a treatment for a number of spinal pain causes. It works by altering pain signals sent up the spinal cord and into the brain. A small device placed near the base of the spine will stimulate the nerves and interfere with the perception of pain. Syndromes most commonly treated with an SCS include central sensitization, peripheral neuropathy, complex regional pain syndrome, degenerative disc disease, sciatica or lumbar radiculitis, spinal stenosis, nerve root compression, and failed back surgery syndrome.
Utah Spinal Cord Stimulator Treatments
Before a permanent spinal cord stimulator will be considered as a treatment option, a trial SCS will be performed to determine effectiveness. The SCS uses soft, thin wires with electrical leads on the ends. It is inserted into the epidural space of the spine where it will electrically stimulate the nerves. If the trial SCS is effective after a 5-7 day run, a permanent SCS will likely be the next step in the patient's recovery plan.
Risks and Benefits
As with every minor surgical procedure, spinal cord stimulation has associated risks and benefits that must be considered before making a recovery plan. Spinal cord stimulation has shown to be a safe and effective treatment of back pain, particularly in patients who have failed to yield relief from other back surgeries or treatment. Though risk is low with this procedure, potential complications include infection (if affected area isn't kept dry and clean), bleeding, scar tissue deposition, inadequate pain surface area coverage, electrode failure, and nerve problems.
Evidence that SCS is effective in failed back surgery syndrome and complex regional pain syndrome is strong for short-term and moderate for long-term relief. Because there is always an SCS trial before a device is permanently implanted, generally only correctly selected patients will proceed to implant.
Pain Education Center
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