This procedure is for patients with spine and extremity pain that has not responded to other treatments. SCS is a technique that uses tiny electrical leads to block pain signals. These leads are placed over the spinal cord where the pain signals are converging. Temporary leads are placed initially, and a permanent system can be implanted if the temporary leads result in significant relief over a 3 – 5 day trial period. Once implanted it is useful for almost up to 8-10 years because very advanced battery with life up to 10 years.
Most patients who qualify for neurostimulation therapy report a 50 to 70% reduction in overall pain, as well as an increased ability to participate in normal family and work activities. Many patients find that they can decrease or stop taking painkillers or other pain medications after undergoing spinal cord stimulation. Given these benefits, there has been ongoing investment and advances in spinal cord stimulation technology, and many individuals suffering from chronic pain find that neurostimulation positively impacts the quality of their lives.
In general, neurostimulation works by applying an electrical current to the source of chronic pain. This creates a pleasant sensation that blocks the brain’s ability to sense the previously perceived pain. There are two related forms of electrical stimulation commonly used to treat chronic pain
Sources of chronic pain that spinal cord stimulation may be used to treat include
- Failed back surgery syndrome: chronic pain after one or more back or neck surgeries to fails to alleviate persistent low back pain, leg pain (sciatica or lumbar radiculopathy) or arm pain (cervical radiculopathy).
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (complex regional pain syndrome): a progressive disease of the nervous system in which patients feel constant burning pain.
- Causalgia: chronic pain with a burning sensation caused by peripheral nerve injury.
- Arachnoiditis: painful inflammation and scarring of the meninges (protective layers) of the spinal nerves
- Peripheral Neuropathy: a constant burning pain of the legs caused by the most distant nerves dying off