Our Treatments

The center was designed to deliver treatment to pain patients in a caring and compassionate manner,
with an understanding of how chronic pain can affect numerous facets of an individual’s life.

What is a Spinal Cord Stimulator?

This procedure includes an electronic device that is implanted in the body to help relieve chronic pain. The Spinal cord stimulator also known as a dorsal column stimulator, is a device which sends low electrical currents through wires placed in the epidural space near the spinal cord to treat pain. The device does not cure chronic pain, but usually provides a 50% or greater decrease in pain allowing lower need for pain medication and/or an increase in activity resulting in a better quality of life!

This procedure is usually considered when other solutions, such as surgery, injections and medications, have failed. Before implantation, a trial procedure is recommended with an external device. The trial allows the patient to test the device usually for one week, to determine if the implanted device will be successful at helping chronic pain individuals in achieving a better quality of life.

During that trial period the patient will document if at least 50% of pain is relieved, daily life activity is increased and whether medications are reduced or working better in concert with the device to reduce pain.

How does this procedure work?

The patient is awake or minimal sedation (twilight) may be used during the trial procedure. General anesthesia or heavy sedation is required for the permanent implantable device. Local anesthetic is also used to numb the skin and surrounding soft tissue. Once adequate anesthesia is obtained the process of spinal cord stimulation begins.

The electrode leads are inserted with the aid of fluoroscopy following a small skin incision made in the middle of the back. During the trial procedure, the patient is awakened to assist in determining the coverage of painful areas with the stimulation applied through the electrodes. Several stimulation settings will be trialed. These settings will be used to program the pulse generator with the permanent device so there will be no need to be awake at that time. During the trial period the leads are external to the body but covered under sterile bandages and can be removed in the office any time during or at the end of the trial.

During the permanent procedure for the implanted device, the lead wire is passed under the skin from the spine to the fatty tissue layer of the buttock, where the generator will be implanted, thus internalizing the device where it will not be seen except for the healed incisions. The patient is taken to recovery at the end of the procedure and final programming is performed to tailor signals that will reduce pain and improve quality of life.

What are the benefits of this treatment?

  1. Ambulatory Surgery: The incisions are small
  2. Alternative therapy when all other treatments including physical therapy, medication, surgery has failed.
  3. Trial procedure for up to 7 days to allow patients to determine if this is a medically appropriate procedure for their chronic pain.
  4. Successful implanted device provide improved quality of life when medication and surgery fails.
  5. The implanted device is completely reversible if you should ever decide to have it removed.
How many treatments will i need?

For low back pain also radiating to the lower extremities, neck pain also radiating to the upper extremities or mid back pain also radiating to the chest wall, the device is permanently implanted once. There are occasions when the generator is used at high capacity and replacement is required with minimal surgery after 10 to 15 years.

What is the recovery time of this procedure?

The procedure is performed in an ambulatory surgery setting. Any regards for initial recovery may require 24 hours when sedation and general anesthesia is used.

The results of the spinal cord stimulation for the usual areas of pain are immediate. Patients may have pain and soreness for a few days to weeks following permanent surgical placement; however, medication is prescribed to help ease surgical discomfort.

Reduced activity is recommended for two weeks following permanent surgery to allow the surgical incisions to heal and the leads to make permanent attachment to the tissue. Normal or improved activity will usually resume in approximately 2 weeks following the surgery.

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