Prescription-free Treatment Option. Expectations for Recovery with Spinal Cord Stimulation
Spinal Cord Stimulation Procedure
Congratulations on wanting to choose a prescription-free method for managing your chronic pain. The actual procedure of Spinal Cord Stimulation is very simple and straightforward. After you successfully complete the trial period, if the treatment is effective in relieving your pain, your doctor will schedule surgery for a permanent implant.
The total surgery usually takes up to two hours, depending on your condition. You’ll lie face down and the doctor will numb the area, make the incision, secure the implant to the wires, and seal the incision. As with any surgery, even minimally invasive ones, there will be a period of recovery from minor pain at the surgical site.
Recovery after SCS: What to Expect
After surgery, you can expect a fairly quick recovery. It will vary, depending on the person, but 6 to 8 weeks seems to be an average recovery time. This is significantly quicker than the recovery time individuals require following more invasive spine surgery.
Following the surgery, you may feel soreness and discomfort around the area of the incision. The soreness may limit your movement initially. To help the healing process, be sure to stay active. Taking a walk or riding your bicycle are encouraged activities. Soon, the soreness will be gone and you’ll notice your quality of life improving.
Making Adjustments to Managing Your Pain
Following surgery, it is not uncommon to notice that your pain has taken on a different and unpredictable pattern. For example, you may feel pain at different times of day or during different activities. You can counteract these new feelings of pain by using your Spinal Cord Stimulation remote. You control when the pulses are activated, allowing you to take control of your life again.
Realistic Expectations for Daily Living
The most common question that patients ask is, “What can I expect in my day-to-day life following surgery?”
While Spinal Cord Stimulation may drastically reduce your pain, it does not cure the cause behind it. In most cases, SCS will allow you to reclaim your life from pain but it is not a “cure-all” method. Be sure to continue working with your doctor post-surgery.