Treatments

Ask Your Doctor if Spinal Cord Nerve Stimulation is Right for You

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Spinal Cord Stimulation: What is it?

A dorsal column stimulator, more commonly known as spinal cord stimulation, is an effective way to manage chronic pain without a prescription. SCS involves stimulating nerves around the spine to block pain signals from reaching the brain.

The SCS System

SCS involves a minimally invasive surgical procedure where a tiny metal box, also called a pulse generator, is placed under the skin. Wires are connected from the generator to a lead, which is placed on the spine. The lead itself holds between 4 to 32 electrodes and it is through the lead that you are able to send electrical pulses to stop pain signals from reaching the brain.

You May Be a Candidate If You Meet These Criteria

  • If you have chronic pain (lasting 6 months or longer) 
  • If you have exhausted many non-surgical treatment methods 
  • If you are not reliant upon prescription drugs for pain management 
  • If you are not suffering from depression that directly impacts your pain levels 
  • If you have no current medical ailments including infection 
  • You have successfully completed the trial period and have been given the recommendation of a permanent implant by your doctor

Who Performs the Procedure

The only qualified professionals who are able to perform the surgery are those doctors and neurosurgeons who have a specialization in pain management. This includes anesthesiologists, specialized surgeons, and physiatrists.

Pre-Surgery through Post Surgery: What Happens During the Process

Pre-Surgery:

  • Successfully complete trial 
  • Schedule surgery with your doctor 


Morning of Surgery:

  • Follow instructions provided by doctor 
  • Arrive two hours before your scheduled surgery 


Surgery Prep:

  • You will talk with an anesthesiologist 
  • You will be placed on your side or stomach 
  • Sedation will be provided 
  • Areas of the incision with be shaved 


Surgery:

  • First incision is made 
  • Leads with electrodes are placed on the spine 
  • Incision is closed 
  • You are awakened to provide feedback concerning the effectiveness of the stimulation 
  • Sedation is provided again 
  • Second incision is made 
  • Pulse generator is placed under the skin 
  • Generator is connected 
  • Incision is closed 


Post-Surgery:

  • Awakened in the recovery area 
  • Vitals will be monitored as well as your pain levels 
  • The pulse generator will be programmed 
  • Information is provided to you with instructions about the implant, diet, allowed activities, bathing, and reasons for contacting your doctor 


10 Days Post-Surgery:

  • You will follow-up with your doctor to have the stitches / sutures removed 
  • You’ll also have a chance to provide feedback and concerns