Spinal Cord Stimulation

Spinal Cord Stimulation

The Spinal Cord Stimulator is a device implanted under the skin which delivers a mild electrical pulse that interrupts pain signals to the brain and replaces them with a tingling sensation that covers the specific areas where you feel pain.

At Oklahoma Pain Center, we do not implant the permanent device inside you. Instead, we perform the trial procedure to determine if and how effectively this therapy will help you. Under a local anesthetic and minimal sedation your doctor will first place the trial SCS leads into the epidural space. The spinal stimulator lead is a soft, thin wire with electrical leads on its tip and is placed through a needle in the back into the epidural space. The trial stimulator is typically worn for 5-7days as the lead is taped to your back and connected to a stimulating device. If the trial successfully relieves your pain you can undergo a permanent SCS if desired.

Who is a candidate for Spinal Cord Stimulation?

  • People suffering from neuropathic pain for at least 6 months and
  • People whose pain is currently uncontrolled by traditional therapies

Benefits of Spinal Cord Stimulation:

  • Significant reduction in pain-up to 50% or more
  • Improved ability to function and participate in activities
  • Decreased oral medications
  • Device trial before committing to an implanted system
  • Reversible-device can be turned off or, if desired, surgically removed
  • Safe and effective when used as directed

Risks of Spinal Cord Stimulation:

  • Infection
  • Pain at the site of surgery
  • Bleeding into the epidural space
  • Jolting
  • Lead breaking
  • Movement of the lead within the epidural space

These complications may result in uncomfortable spinal cord stimulation or loss of therapy and may require corrective surgery and reprogramming or surgical replacement of the lead.

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