Spinal Cord Stimulation
Spinal Cord Stimulation
Procedure in which a electrodes are implanted near the spinal cord to reduce pain. The electrodes decreases the pain by interrupting signals that are being sent to your brain by the nerves that are experiencing pain.
- Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial: During the trial phase temporary electrodes are placed near the spine for a period of time. Your doctor will then determine if the device is beneficial to your pain management treatment.
- Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation: If your doctor determines that the trial was beneficial to your treatment, then electrodes will be implanted during a surgical procedure.
1 - Spinal Cord Stimulation
1. What is a Spinal Cord Stimulator?
Spinal cord stimulation involves the placement of electrodes near the spinal cord that send electrical current to the spinal cord to change pain messages being sent to the brain. Studies have shown that spinal cord stimulation also works in several other ways to decrease pain.
Before a spinal cord stimulator is implanted, there are several steps that must take place. First, a patient must undergo psychological evaluation; most insurance companies require this. If approved, a spinal cord stimulator trial over 5 days is performed with temporary electrodes and an external battery. If the patient has greater than 50% pain reduction, or most importantly, significantly improved function during the trial, an implant is offered. The implant involves anchoring the stimulator leads and placing an internal battery.
3. The Trial
You will be positioned on your abdomen. Your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen level will be monitored during the procedure. An IV will be placed. The injection site will be washed with a sterile cleaning solution. X-ray images will be taken of your spine to determine the correct placement of the needle and the stimulator leads.
Local anesthetic (“numbing” medication) will be injected into the skin. X-ray images and testing (typically a vibration type sensation) will be used to confirm the location of the stimulator leads in the epidural space.
Once the leads are in place, the needles will be removed and large dressings will be placed over the area where the stimulator leads come out of the skin.
4. The Implant
You will be positioned on your abdomen. Your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen level will be monitored during the procedure. An IV will be placed and light sedation will be given by an anesthesiologist. The injection site will be washed with a sterile cleaning solution. X-ray images will be taken of your spine to determine the correct placement of the needle and the stimulator leads.
Local anesthetic (“numbing” medication) will be injected into the skin. Two small incisions (about 5 to 7 cm long) will be made, one in the mid-back for the leads and one in the flank for the battery. X-ray images and testing (typically a vibration type sensation) will be used to confirm the location of the stimulator leads in the epidural space. You will be awake for the testing period.
Once the leads are in place, the needles will be removed. The leads will then be anchored to the muscle and connected to the internal battery. Dressings will be placed over the incisions.
You will not be able to drive during your trial week or for 2-4 weeks after your implant. Sudden movements while driving can make the stimulator leads move position, decreasing their effect on pain control.
6. Before the Procedure
It is important that you follow all pre-procedure instructions given to you at your clinic visit; if not, your procedure may be canceled.
7. After the Procedure
You will remain in the recovery room for observation; we will monitor your vital signs during this time. The staff will give you discharge instructions.
During your trial, you will follow up in clinic twice. We will remove your stimulator leads in clinic after your trial.
After your implant, you will follow up in our clinic.
Hess Orthopaedic Specialties
What is it?
- Pain management is individualized treatment of chronic pain for each patient which is offered through a variety of different services.
How can you determine if the pain is temporary or chronic?
- Temporary pain can result from injuries or other trauma and may last up up to a few weeks or a few months depending on the injury. The pain will typically go away after the injury is healed.
- Chronic pain can result from injuries or other trauma and will last more than 3 months. The pain is still present even after the injury is healed. Others can experience chronic pain even with no signs of injury or trauma.
How can a pain medicine specialist help you?
Doctors who specialize in pain management:
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is caused when your ulnar nerve, commonly known as the “funny bone”, experiences pressure or compression.
- Will ask you about the pain you are experiencing
- Where does it hurt?
- How long has it been hurting?
- What makes it feel better or worse?
- Will review test and records, such as x-rays or other images, to determine what may be the best form of treatment
will have you fill out a questionnaire, this individualizes the experience you are having and provides specific information about your pain