How Effective is Spinal Cord Stimulation?
If you're struggling with chronic pain and have not found relief from over-the-counter or prescription medication, spinal cord stimulation may be worth considering.
For those who may not be familiar with spinal cord stimulation, it is a form of therapy that disrupts pain signals that would otherwise travel to the brain. The process entails having a spinal cord stimulator the size of a pacemaker surgically placed beneath the skin, sending electrical pulses directly to the spinal cord. These electrical pulses can help mask the pain that you're experiencing.
Spinal cord stimulation has been shown to be especially effective for individuals who are struggling with arm, leg, or back pain.
Who Is a Good Candidate For Spinal Cord Stimulation?
Before being considered for spinal cord stimulation therapy, patients will need to be seen by a neurosurgeon or pain specialist who will evaluate their physical health, medication history, and history of pain.
The emotional component of pain must also be addressed to ensure patients achieve optimal results. That said, prospective patients will also have to be evaluated by a psychologist or psychiatrist who will assess their mental health.
What Does The Surgical Procedure Entail?
Placing a spinal cord stimulator underneath the skin is an outpatient, minimally invasive treatment procedure. In fact, this procedure can be performed in just one hour. With local anesthesia numbing the skin, only a tiny incision will be made in the abdomen or upper buttock region. The implant will be connected to electrodes implanted in the spine by very thin wire leads.
This device is permanent and will provide relief for several years. However, since the implant is battery-powered, you will need to schedule follow-up procedures every two to five years to install a new battery. Advancements in rechargeable batteries are allowing this time between maintenance to be extended.
Visit our website for more information about spinal cord stimulation or to schedule a consultation at Colorado Clinic.