Treatment of Pain with Neurostimulation
Neurostimulation is an advanced therapy used for the treatment of certain types of chronic pain and neurological disorders.
The goal of Neurostimulation is to superimpose a pleasant pulsed stimulation (buzzing or tingling) over a patients normal pain pattern. This confuses the brain and changes the interpretation of the pain, resulting in pain relief.
What is a Spinal Cord Stimulator?
A Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) consists of a lead (a set of electrodes used to deliver electrical stimulation), an extension (a wire to connect the power source to the lead), and a generator (a battery powered source for the stimulation).
How is the Neurostimulator Implanted?
The implantation of a Neurostimulation system is usually a two-phase, outpatient, minor surgical procedure.
It consists of a trial phase and a permanent placement phase. If the trial phase is successful and the patient experiences at least 50-75% pain relief, the permanent placement may be scheduled.
Prior to the trial phase you must attend an education class that reviews this procedure in depth.
The trial consists of the physician placing the lead into the epidural space over the nerves believed to be producing the pain. The patient receives a local anesthetic and light sedation to allow them to verbally assist the physician with proper placement of the leads. Once the leads are inserted, they are connected to an external battery. The patient then goes home and monitors his/her pain relief.
If the trial is successful, the patient may be scheduled for permanent placement of the system.
There are two types of permanent placement and your physician will determine which approach and which system will be best for you.